Fayetteville raises claim cap, pays family for damaged home

A city crew works to repair a ruptured water line in east Fayetteville in September 2021.

(City of Fayetteville)

FAYETTEVILLE – The city will fully reimburse a local family whose home was damaged when one of the city’s largest water mains was ruptured.

City Council members voted 7-0 to pay Patricia and Jim Knepp $40,707.67 to compensate the couple for repairs needed at their house after a 36-inch water main line broke in September causing extensive flooding on Makeig Court.

The rupture depleted nearly half of the city’s water tank supply which reduced water pressure in the surrounding neighborhoods and led to a request from city officials for residents to conserve water for three days. A city crew worked for 22 straight hours to repair the leak.

The Knepp’s damage claim was first discussed on June 7, but was tabled to allow time for City Attorney Kit Williams to draft a change to city code which would increase the city’s claim cap. The Knepp’s claim was $707 more than the $40,000 limit.

Several council members said the cap, which hadn’t been raised in over a decade, should be adjusted for inflation and to allow the Knepps full compensation for their repairs. The home needed $36,000 in foundation repairs, along with nearly $5,000 in work and materials to fix ceilings, doors, and other parts of the house.

Williams proposed increasing the claim cap by 25% from $40,000 to $50,000. The council agreed, and also passed an emergency clause to immediately put the change into effect.