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Douglas PUD Settles Lawsuit 5/16/2011
The Douglas County PUD will avoid a court battle in a condemnation procedure to force the sale of just over a half-acre of land the utility has been seeking to buy along the Okanogan River.

PUD General Manager Bill Dobbins said a settlement was reached last week to pay Robert and Roberta Oliver of Brewster, $102,400 for the property just north of the intersection of Highways 97 and 17.

An appraiser hired by the PUD calculated the land’s value at $65,000. The Olivers’ appraisal said the land was worth $400,000. PUD officials had been negotiating with the Olivers since 2008, but couldn’t agree on a price.

As part of the settlement, the Olivers will receive an easement that allows them to continue to use the property for agriculture or recreation. They currently grow alfalfa there.

The PUD also agreed to grant them a permit to build a dock at the site, as long as the Olivers get all other required dock permits from state agencies. No other structures will be allowed on the property.

Still pending are land negotiations with two other private property owners, condemnation proceedings have already begun in one of the two.