Dwight Millard files lawsuit against Carson City over effluent water

Carson developer Dwight Millard has filed in bankruptcy court charging Carson City is refusing to provide him with the necessary water to serve his Empire Ranch Golf Course.

The water in question is the reclaimed “effluent water” from the Carson City water treatment plant. Empire Ranch has a contract with the city that says Empire Ranch must take at least 790 acre feet of water a year but can ask for up to 1,385 acre feet of the reclaimed water.

The lawsuit charges water is a real property asset belonging to the golf course and the city should be ordered to provide the necessary water.

Instead, Millard’s lawsuit filed March 16 charges city officials have breached the Effluent Agreement, “by providing effluent in addition to purchasing and delivery of potable water to lower priority effluent rights holders, prior to or without providing Plaintiff all of the effluent it is entitled to receive.”

The city has agreements not only with Empire Ranch but the Nevada Prison Farm, Eagle Valley and Silver Oak golf courses to use its effluent water. Millard’s lawsuit charges only the prison farm has priority over his golf course and the others are subordinate to his need for the water.

But the complaint charges Carson City is supplementing the water deliveries to Eagle Valley and Silver Oak with fresh potable water but isn’t providing that water to Empire Ranch. It accuses the city of engaging in unfair business competition by providing its own golf course and Silver Oak’s course with potable at no cost, damaging Empire Ranch Golf Course.

“Plaintiff’s right to receive effluent form Carson City is second in priority to only the Nevada State Prison Farm,” the complaint states.

Faced with a shortage of effluent water in recent years, the city has been buying water from Minden to augment the reclaimed water supply.

The bankruptcy complaint asks for an injunction permanently barring Carson City from subsidizing those lower priority effluent rights holders to the detriment of Empire Ranch.

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday considers a $75,000 extension of its contract with a bankruptcy lawyer, Edmond Miller, to defend the city’s position in the Empire Ranch bankruptcy case.

A hearing in the Empire Ranch bankruptcy case is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 12.


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