Suit seeks to firm up water system ownership

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SANDPOINT — The operators of Schweitzer Mountain Resort are suing to solidify its ownership of a water system in the Schweitzer Village subdivision.

Legal counsel for the resort filed a civil complaint against the operators of Acme Water Works seeking a judicial declaration that Schweitzer is the unequivocal owner of the water system, 1st District Court records show.

The resort acquired three parcels of property at public auction last year. The lots were owned by Acme operators Joel and Leslie Whalin, who were forced to give them up for nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes, according to the complaint.

One parcel sold for $21,000, while the two others were sold for $14,000 and $15,000, court records indicate.

Although Schweitzer owns the parcels at issue, Acme has or may claim some right or interest in the properties by virtue of operating the water system, Schweitzer’s Coeur d’Alene attorney, Janet Robnett, said in the complaint.

The suit alleges Acme is retaining possession of property without the legal right to do so and seeks to quell any disputes over title to the properties and improvements placed upon them. It also calls for a writ of execution if Acme fails to surrender the premises.

“All such appurtenances are or have become an integral part of the property and cannot be removed without doing injury to the property,” Robnett said in the June 2 suit.

Idaho Public Utilities Commission documents indicated that the system began with two wells, a 200,000-gallon storage reservoir, distribution lines and fire hydrants.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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