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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. May 25, 2017 – Editor’s note: The following remarks were made by Ricki Heck before yesterday’s NID Board of Directors closed session on real estate acquisitions. You can watch Ms. Heck’s remarks in the video below.

I am deeply troubled by NID’s continued real property acquisitions for the Centennial Dam project. NID is using tax payer 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.

Today, there is another closed session discussion regarding the purchase of two parcels in the project area. Both are privately owned.

One is a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom single family home on 2.53 acres located at 22684 Dog Bar Road. According to public records, the current assessed value is approximately $400,000 . (Tadlock)

The other property is a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom single-family home, 2,369 square feet on 1.5 acres located at 14975 Deerwood Place. The assessed value of this home is $446,941. (Walker Land Co.)

Combined, these two purchases, if completed could be over $850,000; added to the $4,149,881 in purchases completed from 2014 to date, that could bring the total to approximately $5,000,000 spent for land acquisitions.

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 here last month who was very emotional about the prospect of losing his home. Others are delaying needed improvements, will they put on the needed roof before winter, make the addition they have wanted to do, complete needed maintenance projects? Do they begin to look for another home or live with uncertainty?

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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 insures the only certain buyer; NID can gobble up their property for a reduced price.

NID, by its actions is hurting families, 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.

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.