Jun 02, 2020

Water District Settles Case for Tahoe Reno Industrial Center

A public water district for the country’s largest industrial park has agreed to settle an eminent domain case 

industrial water

A public water district for the country’s largest industrial park has agreed to settle an eminent domain case weeks after a judge ruled that the state Constitution gave a nearby family the right to a jury trial in determining whether seizing their private land for a pipeline project was valid.

An agreement could remove a major hurdle to building a regional pipeline from the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Storey County to a municipal sewer plant serving the Reno area.

The agreement was approved by the water district’s board on May 21, reported Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Several conditions in the 20-page agreement still need to be satisfied but all three parties involved have signed the settlement.

The agreement, which is between the Menezes family, the water district and the developer, would reroute the pipeline alignment and provide $500,000 in compensation to the family, addressing several access issues during and after construction, according to Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The goal is for the pipeline to deliver treated effluent to the industrial center. According to some elected officials, this would ease the burden on the municipal sewer plant and bring more water to an industrial park in Northern Nevada. 

The family did not agree to let the pipeline pass through their hay baling and trucking business along the Truckee River, but once the industrial park developer tried to negotiate, the water district’s board voted to occupy the land through eminent domain action. This allows for governments to seize property if it is for public use.

The water district argued that compensation for all the property it wanted to condemn was $137,410.

The Menezes family responded in court. 

In response, the Menezes family wanted to know more about the pipeline, including who was building it, paying for it and benefiting from it. According to the Nevada Constitution, this excludes the direct or indirect transfer of any interest in property taken in an eminent domain proceeding from one private party to another private party.

In April, a judge ruled that the Nevada Constitution, under a 2008 amendment, gave the family the right to a jury trial to determine whether or not the taking of property was for public use, reported Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

A settlement was then presented at a water district board meeting on May 21 and the water district board unanimously approved the settlement agreement.

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