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IR updates frozen water line law

IRON RIVER—Given last year’s plethora of problems linked to frozen water lines and last week’s early blast of winter weather, the Iron River City Council voted to update its policy on thawing frozen lines during its Nov. 12 meeting.
    The council voted unanimously to support City Manager Perry Franzoi’s recommendation to not “act like a bank” in providing thawing for frozen water lines in the city for individual property owners, whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.
    The policy, in part, reads “the city would reaffirm that the cost of installing, maintaining and thawing frozen water lines, from the point of attachment at the water customer’s meter to the point of attachment at the city’s water main, shall be the responsibility of the water customer.”
    (The entire policy is included in this week’s Reporter.)
    “That’s going to be an individual responsibility,” Franzoi said. “The main reason(s) for this are financial and more importantly, the liability.
    “Our insurance company will not provide coverage as they did last year for companies that we hire to provide that service. We cannot assume that risk.”
    Mayor Terry Tarsi asked Franzoi if he would provide recommendations for companies to the property owner. Franzoi said he would not.
    Councilman Daniel Baumgartner then asked if the city could offer a list of companies for residents who may not know where to turn to get their line thawed.
    “We did that last year because the people that we had were covered by our insurance policy,” Franzoi said. “And there were (contractors) that were not covered and that we didn’t recommend, but they got hired on their own.
    “(Residents) can go in the Yellow Pages, and the companies are listed in there. I don’t want to put us in the position of recommending.”
    Tarsi agreed.
    “If they want to put an ad in the Reporter, they can say, ‘We thaw water lines, contact us,’” Tarsi said. “I think we should stay out of it in any manner. It cost us a ton of money last year.”
    The motion passed without dissent.
    Another pressing matter on the agenda was the ongoing discussions regarding demolition of the deteriorating former Coast-to-Coast building on the corner of Third Avenue and Genesee Street.

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