Residents in lurch amid water fight

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SANDPOINT — Water and septic services were abruptly cut off Wednesday to residents of the Idaho Club on Thursday amid an extensive legal dispute between the current and former owners of the golf resort and housing development.

Valiant Idaho, which operates the Idaho Club, announced on Thursday that services were being restored through a temporary restraining order.

William Haberman of Valiant released the following statement:

“It is our understanding that the current water provider, VP, Inc., took it upon themselves to shut off the water service to our properties and the homes of many current owners at The Idaho Club. Valiant Idaho, LLC has not taken any action that prevents, prohibits or restricts the ability of VP, Inc. to provide water service to any property owners at The Idaho Club. In response, we are working with our counsel to seek whatever legal remedies are available to restore the water service as quickly as possible. We expect to have this resolved in short order. In our view, the full responsibility for this disruption and any resulting damages rests with VP, Inc.”

The Idaho Club’s water and sewer system are at the center of a struggle that began with the foreclosure of the resort in 2009, according to 1st District Court documents. The dispute is spread across 44 file folders. Contemporary court filings appear to largely involve the water and sewer system.

VP officials warned Idaho Club residents that status of water and sewer services were in question, which prompted Valiant to assure customers that its subsidiary owned all of the infrastructure, but acknowledged VP still owned the source wells from which water was drawn.

Valiant said it had obtained its own water right from the Idaho Department of Water Resources and was seeking Idaho Department of Environmental Quality permit approval to develop its own wells and attendant infrastructure to supply the resort.

“We expect to have this process completed and the new wells ready by mid-summer 2017,” Haberman said in a notice to Idaho Club utility customers.

Haberman had previously advised customers that neither Valiant nor its affiliate, TIC Utilities, were preventing VP from providing water for domestic use and fire protection.

But Idaho Club residents, which is comprised of as many as 60 households, said on Wednesday that their water and septic services were shut off. The reports resumed on Thursday and included a plea for help from a family with a woman who was pregnant.

A hearing on a permanent injunction in the legal dispute is scheduled for Wednesday.

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