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NID OKs eminent domain for pipeline

A debate over shade trees along the Lower Cascade Canal/Banner Cascade Pipeline project ended Wednesday in eminent domain.

Nevada Irrigation District directors voted to move forward acquiring the property of Jim and Elizabeth Ann Chambers for the project, though a price hasn’t been settled after more than two years of bargaining.

NID’s first appraisal was slightly more than $1,000 for the Chambers’ property, but a second appraisal was much higher. The Chambers’ counter-offer is $14,541, which NID staff turned down.



The Chambers say NID’s offer ignores the value of numerous mature shade trees set to be removed.

“We may never be able to replant since the roots will interfere with the pipe,” Jim Chambers said.




Directors voted 4-1 to move forward with eminent domain, saying price negotiations would continue. Director Nancy Weber opposed.

“We’re authorizing eminent domain, then negotiating?” Weber said, noting NID usually sticks with its initial offers. “I don’t think that’s honest.”

Jim Chambers said his and his wife’s asking price was a bargain compared to the legal fees that could be incurred if negotiations stayed at an impasse.

But NID staff said paying the Chambers’ asking price could invite other property owners – who already committed part of their land to the pipeline installation – to return for more compensation.

Directors took similar action Wednesday on a second parcel of land owned by Patricia Nelson. Nelson said said NID’s compensation for the project is too low, and she will not benefit from the pipeline project but will suffer the noise and traffic disruption.

Price negotiations between NID and Nelson will continue.

When completed, the $40 million Lower Cascade Canal/Banner Cascade Pipeline project will include 6.4 miles of raw water pipeline and 5.5 miles of smaller pipe for treated, drinkable water. They will transport water to the Loma Rica and E. George water treatment plants in the NID system.

It will supply residents on Banner Mountain, in Chicago Park and other western county neighborhoods.

Other NID action

• Directors voted to abandon rights to the inactive Gold Hill Canal on a parcel below Combie Reservoir. The canal, on the south side of the Bear River, has not been used since the 1970s when it was replaced by the Combie Phase I Canal on the north side. The action was requested by property owners who are planning to restore an old barn but could not get the necessary permits from Placer County land use authorities.

• Directors awarded a $97,976 contract to Simpson & Simpson, Inc. of Newcastle for paving NID’s Placer County maintenance yard off Gold Hill Road, near Newcastle. The firm’s bid was lowest among three submitted to the district.

• Directors awarded a $72,117 contract to Groeniger & Co. of Roseville for pipe and fittings for a job to replace the School House Siphon on the Camp Far West Canal in Placer County. Groeniger was one of three firms submitting quotations on the project.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8 at the NID Business Center in Grass Valley. NID board meetings are open to the public.

Dave Carter contributed to this report on behalf of NID. To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail mrindels@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4247.


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