The Special Service Levy Covers Your Service Line Breaks.

Mayor and Council are hosting a Public Hearing on February 11, 2021 to review the budgeted rates for the City of Thompson’s Special Service Levy, which covers the repair of private residential water breaks between a resident’s property line and one meter away from a home’s foundation.

The average service break repair costs roughly $6000 to repair, and can cost up to $15, 000 depending on the complexity of excavation and repair work. The service levy, in place for almost a decade, helps reduce the risk of aging infrastructure to an individual homeowner by distributing the cost of repairs across the entire community.

Below are the proposed Special Service Levy rates for 2021-2025, as being discussed at the Public Hearing:

YearTotal Estimated RepairsSpecial Service Levy Rate
2021$300, 000$92.56
2022$325, 000$100.28
2023$350, 000$107.99
2024$375, 000$115.70
2025$400, 000$123.42
Budgeted Special Service Levy Rates, 2021-2025

If the rates are based on previous years, why are increases planned for the next five years?

The rates shown are estimates: it’s better to plan for a higher cost and have budget room left over than to plan for a lower cost and come up short at the end of the year. Therefore, the City bases projections assuming an 8% increase to repair costs every year.

If the cost of service repairs is lower than expected in the previous years, then it will be lower than the fees shown above. If they are higher than expected, there will be a public hearing held before officially amending the plan.

Though the City of Thompson budgets for increases, the actual levy rate fluctuates every year:

YearTotal Cost of RepairsSpecial Service Levy Rate
2020$241, 542.00$74.55
2019$224, 046.00$69.15
2018$352, 115.60$108.69
2017$271, 512.00$82.80
2016$379, 306.80$117.07
Special Service Levy Rates, 2016-2020

What’s The Difference Between Private Insurance and the Special Service Levy?

The Special Service Levy is a substitute to insurance services offered by many private insurance providers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both:


Cost: The Service Levy cost is based on the previous year’s total cost of service line repairs. This means it will go up some years, and go down other years, and it’s not always in your control. However, your payments don’t go up just because there is a break on your property.

Coverage: The City of Thompson has never denied coverage of a water break within the defined area of coverage, and works to remediate the property the following year.

Service: The City of Thompson provides excavation, plumbing, and remediation services.


Cost: Your insurance premium is based primarily on your claim history, and is not directly impacted by breaks in other parts of the community . However, if you have a service line break and you have to fix it, you’ll have to pay your insurance deductible, and your insurance premiums will likely go up.

Coverage: Depending on your policy and it’s conditions, an insurance company may refuse to cover the cost of your repair, and may not cover the remediation of your property following a dig.

Service: Under private insurance, you’ll likely have to hire a repair crew yourself. Depending on the services offered, you may need to hire an excavation crew and a plumber separately, and another firm to remediate your property afterwards.

Don’t My Property Taxes Cover Water Breaks Already?

Property taxes help pay for the administration of public property, like water mains, sewer mains, roads, and the staff employed to maintain and operate this property.

Service lines on private property are just that: private. In other municipalities, private homeowners are responsible for the full cost of service line repair and remediation in addition to their regular property taxes.

I have something to say. How do I register for the Public Hearing?

You can attend the meeting remotely through Zoom by clicking here.

You can register to attend the meeting in person or to make a presentation for or against, by calling 204-677-7938 or emailing

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage presenters to register to attend or present to the meeting remotely if they are able.

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