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City officials say they are not behind a letter offering water line insurance

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The city of Ogdensburg has no connection to a mass-mailed letter offering to sell insurance for water line connection repairs.

American Water Resources, Voorhees, N.J., mass-mailed a March 28 letter offering its services, including hiring local contractors to make repairs.

“Normal wear and tear can cause water line leaks....homeowners are responsible for making the necessary repairs that can cost thousands of dollars,” the letter states, adding that its services “are independent of Ogdensburg.”

Nevertheless, City Manager John M. Pinkerton said Thursday he felt it was necessary to give the city some distance from American Water Resources’ pitch.

“It’s a sales gimmick,” he said

The connections are known as laterals, and they carry water from a city water main to the residence. Made of sturdy copper, they are installed by the Public Works Department. DPW Director Kit W. Smith said the cost of installation ranges from $400 to $800, depending on pipe length and ground conditions. As for American Water Resources’ warning that “necessary repairs can cost thousands of dollars,” Mr. Smith could recall only one job that amounted to $1,000.

“All of the others were considerably less,” he said.

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