B-131787, JUN. 3, 1957

B-131787: Jun 3, 1957

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TO THE DONORS OF THE EASEMENT IN CONSIDERATION OF THEIR VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT TO DISMISS A CONDEMNATION ACTION AGAINST ANOTHER PORTION OF THEIR PROPERTY WHICH NO LONGER IS NEEDED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR WHICH THE DONATED PROPERTY WAS SUBSTITUTED. WAS INSTITUTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE FRANKLIN CANAL. INCLUDED IN THE ACTION WERE ONE LYLE A. WHEN THE DECLARATION OF TAKING WAS FILED. A JUDGMENT ON THE DECLARATION OF TAKING WAS DULY ENTERED BY THE COURT. THE LATERAL WAS RELOCATED IN SUCH MANNER AS TO EXCLUDE ALL OF THE LAND IN PARCEL NO. 7 OWNED BY THE HARRISES. AN ARRANGEMENT WAS MADE WITH THE HARRISES WHEREBY THEY AGREED TO DONATE TO THE UNITED STATES AN EASEMENT ACROSS ANOTHER PORTION OF THEIR LAND WHICH WAS TO BE COVERED BY THE RELOCATED LATERAL IN CONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONDEMNATION SUIT ON PARCEL NO. 7 BY THE PAYMENT TO THEM OF $596.

B-131787, JUN. 3, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

ON MAY 8, 1957, YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY ASKED US WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF $307.50, THE APPRAISED VALUE OF AN EASEMENT ACQUIRED BY DONATION, TO THE DONORS OF THE EASEMENT IN CONSIDERATION OF THEIR VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT TO DISMISS A CONDEMNATION ACTION AGAINST ANOTHER PORTION OF THEIR PROPERTY WHICH NO LONGER IS NEEDED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR WHICH THE DONATED PROPERTY WAS SUBSTITUTED.

A CONDEMNATION ACTION ENTITLED UNITED STATES V. 50.95 ACRES OF LAND IN FRANKLIN AND WEBSTER COUNTIES, NEBRASKA, JOHN B. STEINSHOUER, ET AL., CIVIL NO. 112, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, NEBRASKA, WAS INSTITUTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE FRANKLIN CANAL, BOSTWICK DIVISION, MISSOURI RIVER BASIS PROJECT OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. INCLUDED IN THE ACTION WERE ONE LYLE A. HARRIS AND EDNA HARRIS AS THE OWNERS OF A PIECE OF LAND DESIGNATED THEREIN AS PARCEL NO. 7. WHEN THE DECLARATION OF TAKING WAS FILED, THE UNITED STATES DEPOSITED $696 WITH THE COURT AS THE ESTIMATED JUST COMPENSATION FOR A PERPETUAL EASEMENT FOR LATERAL PURPOSES OVER AND ACROSS PARCEL NO. 7. A JUDGMENT ON THE DECLARATION OF TAKING WAS DULY ENTERED BY THE COURT, VESTING TITLE IN THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE EXTENT OF THE ESTATE BEING CONDEMNED AND VESTING IN THE OWNERS OF PARCEL NO. 7 THE RIGHT TO JUST COMPENSATION. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE LATERAL WAS RELOCATED IN SUCH MANNER AS TO EXCLUDE ALL OF THE LAND IN PARCEL NO. 7 OWNED BY THE HARRISES.

AN ARRANGEMENT WAS MADE WITH THE HARRISES WHEREBY THEY AGREED TO DONATE TO THE UNITED STATES AN EASEMENT ACROSS ANOTHER PORTION OF THEIR LAND WHICH WAS TO BE COVERED BY THE RELOCATED LATERAL IN CONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONDEMNATION SUIT ON PARCEL NO. 7 BY THE PAYMENT TO THEM OF $596. THE HARRISES WERE ALLEGEDLY ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT MAKE USE OF THE EASEMENT ACROSS PARCEL NO. 7, WHICH THUS WOULD REVERT TO THEM. ON MAY 13, 1955, THE HARRISES DONATED AN EASEMENT ACROSS THE PORTION OF THEIR LAND OVER WHICH THE RELOCATED LATERAL WAS TO RUN, WHICH GRANT WAS DULY RECORDED, MAKING THE GIFT TO THE UNITED STATES COMPLETE. STIPULATION FOR SETTLEMENT OF THE CONDEMNATION ACTION ON PARCEL NO. 7 FOR $596 WAS ALSO EXECUTED BY THE HARRISES, BUT WAS NOT FILED WITH THE COURT, LEAVING THE CONDEMNATION ACTION STILL PENDING.

THE HARRISES HAVE INDICATED THAT WHILE THE APPRAISED VALUATION OF THE DONATED EASEMENT, $307.50, IS LESS THAN THE SUM THEY WERE PROMISED, THEY WILL ACCEPT THAT AMOUNT AND DISMISS THE CONDEMNATION ACTION ON PARCEL NO. 7. IF APPROVAL TO PAY THIS SUM CANNOT BE OBTAINED, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO SETTLE THE CONDEMNATION ACTION FOR A SUM APPROXIMATING $596, RESULTING IN THE UNITED STATES PAYING FOR AN EASEMENT IT NO LONGER NEEDS AND THE HARRISES RECEIVING A SUM CONSIDERABLY IN EXCESS OF THAT PROPOSED HERE. ACCORDINGLY, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTS THAT THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION BE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE SUM OF $307.50 TO THE DONORS OF THE EASEMENT IN CONSIDERATION OF THEIR VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT TO DISMISS THE CONDEMNATION ACTION.

OBVIOUSLY, IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ACQUIRE THE NEEDED EASEMENT AND SETTLE THE CONDEMNATION ACTION AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE PRICE. MOREOVER, WHILE THE GRANT OF THE SECOND EASEMENT IS IN THE FORM OF A DONATION, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE HARRISES EXPECTED TO RECEIVE AND WERE PROMISED A SUM OF MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTION AS A WHOLE. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE PROPOSED ACTION WILL ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULT AS WOULD HAVE BEEN REACHED HAD THE LATERAL BEEN RELOCATED EARLY ENOUGH TO PERMIT A SUBSTITUTION OF THE SECOND PARCEL FOR PARCEL NO. 7, IN THE CONDEMNATION ACTION PRIOR TO VESTING OF TITLE, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $307.50 TO THE HARRISES IN CONSIDERATION OF THEIR VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT TO DISMISS THE CONDEMNATION ACTION CONCERNING THE LAND OWNED BY THEM IN PARCEL NO. 7.