By KAREN LA PIERRE

klapierre@dailynews.net

A recent mailing to some homeowners in Hays has city officials speaking out to ensure residents know the item wasn't sent from the city.

Area homeowners received an advertising flyer in the mail last week from HomeServe USA Repair Management Corps that says, "Important information regarding your water service line."

The letter continues, "This letter is to inform you that as a homeowner, you are responsible for the full cost of maintaining and repairing you exterior water line. We have found that your property is not covered with water service line coverage with us. Take action with water service line coverage to help protect the aging, buried pipe that brings fresh water into your home."

HomeServe is selling insurance.

At last week's city commission meeting, City Attorney John Bird wanted to let community members know it did not come from the city.

"They make it appear it's a big problem," Bird said at the meeting. "But this is not something we have recommended."

"It is uncommon to have citizens contact the city due to private water line breaks," said Paul Briseno, Hays assistant city manager.

"The city is responsible for water mains to the meter, and the homeowner's responsibility is from the meter to the property,"  Briseno said. "Very seldom does the city manager's office have contact from homeowners regarding private water line issues.

"The city wants to ensure citizens know we have no part (of this), and businesses do not represent the city in advising insurance for private waterlines."

The insurance costs for HomeServe are $5.49 per month.

"Most people don't realize they have responsibility for maintenance and repair," of their home water lines, said Myles Meehan, senior vice president of HomeServe. "We're trying to do the mailer to educate."

Meehan said he didn't find the language in the mailer inflammatory.

"We're trying to inform people about an optional service and provide cost protection," Meehan said.