BEND, OR -- A number of homeowners who suffered extensive damage when a water pipe burst along 8th Street last month, told City Councilors last night they're disappointed the city hasn't taken more financial responsibility.
Shortly after the June 10 flood, the city announced its insurance provider, CIS, will only pay for limited things, like water removal and drying of homes. Homeowners like Scott Jennrich aren't happy. "That was a city-owned line on city property. The city claims no negligence, but 8th Street has been under constant work due to an old sewer line in the area. That sewer line was supposed to be replaced years ago but wasn't because the city ran out of funds. Response time to the break was not adequate, the water ran until 5:45 a.m. I personally watched Public Works employees frantically try to find the shut-off, to no avail." Jennrich also says not one person from the city offered them a word of condolence for the incident.
Todd Robles' home was the hardest hit. "That pipe doesn’t even service our house. They told us we would be out of water probably all day. We had water all day - we didn’t have hot water because our hot water was in our basement that sustained nearly 50,000 gallons of water that we had to have pumped out, that the city is balking to pay for. That water wasn't even water to service my house, yet you guys voted not to cover us. I don’t understand that, it doesn’t seem fair."
Robles says he may need to pursue more drastic action. "The house that had the damage, that the pipe broke in front of, their driveway was fixed and grated and new rock put in from the 3-foot creek bed that was dug out - done by the city. Why did the city do that but they’re not going to do it at our house? And, they're not going to fix our house. Something is really messed up there, and something needs to be done. We don’t want to have to litigate, but that’s the direction we’re being pushed."
Florian Bell says he was disappointed with the city's lack of response throughout the entire process. "The disaster repair company told me the city of Bend trucks had been told to knock off for the day and go home and the water was still being pumped out of our houses. We had to call the city and ask them to kindly send their trucks back and continue pumping out the water out of the storm sewer so the disaster companies could continue to do their work. This is absurd."
City councilors agreed to do more research into what CIS will cover, and said they would discuss the matter further.