TEXT: Eminent domain, also know as condemnation, is the power of the government to take, or seize, private property for public use. Eminent domain is a process that determines the value of the private property being taken by the government.
The power is generally used to help build roads or other infrastructure projects. But in extreme cases, governments use the power of eminent domain to takeover private businesses.
Bullhead City’s government is threatening to use Eminent Domain against EPCOR for its water facilities.
Bullhead City’s government has continually undervalued the costs to condemn and then buy EPCOR’s water system. EPCOR knows that the water facilities are worth at least $130 million dollars. The city’s pricey consultants have drastically underestimated values in the past so voters will think it’s a good idea to vote for the buyout. In the end, the courts will determine the final price tag. And it will be costly.
Eminent Domain has not worked out well when other cities have taken over water systems.
For example: In Nashau, New Hampshire, the government valued the water system at $85 million and the final value was $243 million dollars. And in Peoria, Illinois, the government valued the water system at $95 million and the final value was $220 million dollars. Just to name a few.
If the Bullhead City government decides to forcibly take over the EPCOR water system, it will likely raise water rates and will cost Bullhead City residents at least $130 million dollars and hundreds of millions more in interest and legal fees.
That’s a lot of money for no good reason.
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