Cities Helping Residents Deal With Frozen Pipe Costs

Created: 04/21/2014 10:57 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Although the weather is getting warmer, many are still dealing with the fallout from frozen water pipes this winter.

But now more local towns are trying to help.

While temperatures have been above freezing every day since April 1st, one woman in Austin told ABC 6 she just got her water back on this past Wednesday.

But in Osage, Iowa, the city has decided to pay the difference on anyone's bill that was significantly higher than normal because they left their water running to avoid frozen pipes.

And for the small number of people who had their lines freeze up and needed to call a plumber or hook up to a neighbor, the city will pay half the service cost and all of the increase on the neighbors' bills.

City leaders said they just felt like it was the right thing to do.

“In a small community, everybody just kind of works together. It worked out well,” said Jerry Dunlay, director of public works in Osage. “We felt it was something we could do and not really break the budget. It was not a huge deal for the water department to absorb that."

In Brownsdale, Minnesota, a water main break means several residents are still on a temporary, above-ground water system.

Mayor Dave Pike said the city has forgiven some bills for those affected and adjusted others.

He said it could be a few weeks before the main is repaired.