March 26, 2018 – I have been speaking up about NID’s policy to purchase private homes and land in the Bear River Canyon for nearly one year. I am concerned about an upcoming proposal to buy yet another expensive property. This week the NID Board will consider in closed session, the purchase of a home on 5 acres with Bear River frontage, valued at more than $1,800,000. Like the other millions of dollars they’ve already spent on properties in the Bear River canyon, tax payer’s money will once again be used to finance this purchase.

I don’t believe this is a proper way to spend public money at this time. Each purchase seems premature and irresponsible to NID’s customers because NID has not completed the environmental or cultural analyses or studies on alternatives to a dam. NID does not seem to know the full costs or have a plan to finance this massive project. On top of that, they have not received any of the permits from either the State Water Board or Federal Government required to build Centennial Dam. If this project moves forward and is licensed, it will likely be many, many years before the first shovel full of dirt is turned.

I believe NID’s public monies can be put to much greater immediate and beneficial use.

NID, please stop your policy of property purchases in the Bear River Canyon. If you have millions in surplus money, please spend it in ways that will better serve our local community.

Respectfully Submitted By
Ricki Heck, Candidate
NID Board of Directors, Division 1

4 replies on “Op-Ed | Ricki Heck: Dear NID – Is this is a proper use of public money?”

  1. No, it is not a proper use of our money. The California Water Commission also agrees.
    The Water Commission stated that NID’s Centennial Dam proposal has “ZERO public benefit” and they rejected NID’s request for Proposition 1 funds. The analysis is clear. The Centennial Dam will provide no public benefit and does not deserve to be funded.

  2. How does it make any sense to turn a $1.8 million dollar home into the muddy bottom of a half full reservoir? What NID is doing is destroying wealth. Destroying the value of the land and diminishing the taxable income that both Placer and Nevada Counties might otherwise realize. So far they have spent over 7 million dollars of taxpayer money on valuable, scenic, desirable land that they hope to render worthless. Why would anyone want to take that kind of money and destroy it? It doesn’t make any sense.

  3. Not only is this kind of purchase by NID unwise and out of order. If courts come into play this may well be determined to be “pre-decisional”. This is a technical term that means that if you have a project that requires environmental review under CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) you cannot go around changing the site or otherwise taking acts that appear to make the proposed project inevitable. This is exactly how NID is behaving, telling landowners that the dam is a done deal, so you better sell now rather than take eminent domain later. If nothing else this policy on NID’s part is leaving a bad taste in many a local mouth. My mother used to call this sort of thing, “Rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.” How right she was!

  4. Seems this should be addressed by NID. As many times as this question has been asked, it has not been answered. WHY is NID buying property when the project has not yet been approved? NID customers as well as the general public deserve a clear, forthright answer to this question.

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