Owners of homes damaged by water from the Murdock Canal break want the City Council to require canal companies to have insurance.
The homeowners group of about 35 people also will ask the city attorney to write the Provo River Water Users Association, owner and operator of the canal, asking for proof of insurance and a copy of the policy.Jim Dain, a representative of the homeowners group, said the association has a $500,000 limit on its liability policy with Admiral Insurance Co.
"You carry that much on a car," he said. "It is not even a drop in the bucket."
Estimated damage from the flood caused by the canal break is $800,000 - $500,000 in private property and $300,000 in public property.
Owners of damaged homes say they are concerned that the canal could break in the future, causing the same and even worse headaches than they've experienced.
"We need to make it safe to live here so others will want to," said Sharon Tomlinson, a Lindon resident.
With pending lawsuits, the canal association may find it difficult to get insurance next year, and "we need to make sure they carry insurance" with a higher liability limit, Dain said.
Randy Childs, a city councilman and also a damaged-home owner, said: "They say they are insured, but the insurance company (Admiral Insurance) has proved that they are not insured because they won't cover the damages. If there is another break, there will be no coverage for people on down the line."
Dain said several engineers reported that there are two or three other places in the canal that are vulnerable and could break, but according to Jack Gardner, superintendent of the water users association, there are no other areas that have problems.
Teresa Griffin, owner of a damaged home, said she is unhappy that the association didn't instigate a rodent control program, but Gardner said the association believes the break was caused by a foundation failure, not from rodent burrows. He said the banks are to thick to burrow in. The association has repaired the canal since the break and lined it with a claylike material.
But homeowners still feel cheated.
Dain said 35 families are being asked to subsidize 50 percent and even 75 percent of the liability for flood damages. They have not been compensated for volunteer hours or lost work time.
"If I put all the hours we spent mucking out mud . . . if I had it to do over again, I would put it in the claim," Dain said.