NID should wait for study

By: Ricki Heck, Grass Valley
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I am deeply troubled by Nevada Irrigation District’s continued real property acquisitions for the Centennial Dam project. NID is using taxpayer money before it has a permitted project, before any financial analysis, before the completion of the science, cultural and environmental studies and before any permits are issued.
I’m not sure NID has a full grasp of the impact their actions have on the property owners in the proposed project area.
Owners are facing many unknowns and they are suffering.  We’ve heard from them. There was a gentleman who spoke before the NID board last month who was very emotional about the prospect of losing his home. He is not the only one. We have heard from many. Others are delaying needed improvements. Will they put on the needed roof before winter, make the additions they have wanted to do, complete needed maintenance projects? Do they begin to look for another home or live with uncertainty?
These same owners are also being economically disadvantaged. If they want to sell now and get out, they have only one buyer. They cannot expect to sell for a market price to a willing buyer, when they have to disclose their property may be inundated by a new dam. This has the effect of lowering their property values and the values of all the properties within the scope of the project. This ensures the only certain buyer – NID – can gobble up their property for a reduced price. Not only is this unfair to property owners, it is simply wrong.
NID, by its actions, is hurting families, seniors, retirees and those who may be living on the margins. NID is driving the value of real estate downward in a market that is now inflated. These homeowners are being denied the opportunity to take advantage of the current profitable real estate market, and may well suffer economic damages. Ask yourself, how someone living in a 10-year-old modular home on acreage can move and replicate what they have in this overheated real estate market.
Today, I am calling on NID to suspend all further property purchases and negotiations for properties within the Centennial / Bear River project area until the full Environmental Impact Study under NEPA is complete, certified and permits are issued.
It’s the right thing to do.