By Selwyn Harris
Nye County School District NCSD officials addressed a dispute regarding district property and a local landowner.
Mary Zell owns .58 acres of land known as a “Dog Bone” that stretches along Highway 160 from Basin Road to Oxbow Street in the vicinity of Carl’s Jr.
Zell said a recent survey of the land indicated that a fence erected by the school district extends approximately 30 feet onto her property.
In a letter to district officials, Zell informed the board of her intentions in order to resolve the dispute.
“I would like to grant this property to the Board of County Commissioners in exchange for a recorded release of encroachment granted from the Nye County School District of a 30-foot discrepancy along the rear property lines of two parcels, both of which I own, but the rear portion of the property is fenced off by the Nye County School District due to this discrepancy,” the letter read in part.
During the school board meeting, Superintendent Dale Norton offered up a solution that would possibly satisfy all parties involved in the dispute.
“This has been discussed with our attorney and if we elect to do this to assist Nye County in resolving their roadway property issue, they will have Ms. Zell for that agreement that needs to be framed in a settlement to the property and the boundary line dispute. Not any other form of land transfer will happen.
“This will allow for the action being done without burdensome filings, publications, etcetera. It is a clean way to accomplish the request and the board of trustees need to include in their public deliberation of the request that the action does not negatively impact the district, so there is no financial costs to us. In a leadership meeting and advice from our attorney, we feel that it resolves the issue with the property line and it is goodwill on the part of all three clients.
“It would resolve a roadway safety issue for the county, resolve the property issue with Ms. Zell and we get our fence moved at no cost to the district,” he said.
Nye County Public Works Director Dave Fanning said the land boundary dispute has been an ongoing issue for several years.
“The school district at one time took 30 feet of her property. The landowner who was actually there has been trying to work with the school district to get her property back. Over all those years, it has never happened. She owns what is considered a dog bone across the highway over by Frontage Road.
“There is a piece of property which she owns and is willing to trade for that 30-foot back with the school district. That is how I got involved with it because she wants to give that other piece of land to the county. Commissioner Butch Borasky, county manager Pam Webster, and myself sat down and tried to figure out what could be done off the request of Mary Zell. That’s why we took it to the school district,” he said.
NCSD Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor Cameron McRae noted that at least two different surveys were performed on the land to help settle the dispute.
He pointed out that the district’s survey did not jive with Zell’s survey and he is not sure how Zell will use the land at this time.
“The developers did a subsequent survey and it did not turn out the same as ours. I don’t believe that she mentioned anything in open public meeting about that. I don’t have any information on what she plans to do with the property,” he said.
Norton, meanwhile, reaffirmed his position by telling the board that the best way to resolve the issue was to create a settlement option for all three parties involved.
“We would like to request a formation of an actual settlement document if the board agrees to this. The owner would pay for the cost of moving the fence 30 feet,” he said.
After much discussion, the board eventually voted to agree on using Norton’s settlement plan.
Trustee Tim Sutton abstained from the vote saying that he was a county employee and did not want the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“I work for the county and this would be benefiting the county,” he told the board.
Trustee Robert Mobley also abstained from the vote but did not say why. The item passed 5-2.