Suit filed over Indian Hills connection fees |

Suit filed over Indian Hills connection fees

by Sheila Gardner, Record-Courier editor

A North Valley developer and three others have filed suit against the Indian Hills General Improvement District, asking the court to toss out a decision they claim forces potential homeowners to absorb all the cost of a $1.7 million sewer plant.

The suit, filed on behalf of DGD Development Ltd., J.S. Devco, Ltd., Syncon Homes and John Serpa, claims a $4,457 hookup fee for 400 new homes is six times higher than it should be because the new plant will benefit all 2,000 homeowners, not just the newcomers.

A more reasonable connection fee for the new houses would be $1,261, according to the suit.

The plant is being built to accommodate an influx of 400 new houses, as well as serve current customers. The petitioners say they represent 175 future homeowners.

“All existing users will use that new treatment facility, not just 400 new users, but no fee is being assessed to the existing users relative to their being served by the new facility, nor is any reserve being used to replace the depreciated plan,” the plaintiffs claim.

Reserve funds should have been available from fees collected from existing users to pay for the replacement, the lawsuit says.

The suit claims the board had decided in advance what action it would take at the July 12 meeting to raise the fees without taking public opinion, a violation of Nevada law.

“One member specifically read a letter from an absentee board member stating his position prior to any arguments … denying petitioners a fair and impartial hearing,” according to the suit.

The suit asks the court to set aside the fee increase, levy attorneys’ fees against the Indian Hills board and award $10,000 in damages to the plaintiffs.