Minden makes a deal
June 22, 2017
They say politics is the art of the possible, and that precisely describes the negotiations that resulted in a deal for Minden to continue providing water to Carson City, Douglas County and Indian Hills.
The original agreement worked out in 2010 solved problems for all four communities. Minden inherited a boatload of underground water rights from the Dangbergs. At the time, the amount bandied about was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 acre feet. We're not sure all of those rights are proveable, but the town's water resources are substantial.
But to hang on to those rights, the town has to demonstrate it's putting the rights to beneficial use.
Carson, Indian Hills and the Douglas County water utility all have natural arsenic in excess of federal standards in their wells.
By blending their water with Minden's they can meet federal standards.
However, the deal cost Minden 175 acre feet in an effort to pay off $2.3 million in infrastructure the town built, but Carson and Indian Hills felt they shouldn't have to pay for the work.
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Among the infrastructure are the $2 million water tank that sits on Amber Way in the East Valley.
County commissioner Steve Thaler said the improvements were part of the deal from the very beginning, but that trading water for them seems like a fair resolution. Certainly selling the water for $8,000 an acre foot, $1,000 less than its appraised value, seems like the town bent over backwards to get a deal.
Hopefully, this deal will settle in for a long and prosperous life for all the parties.