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Fernley Developers Targeted by Canal Proposal

KOLO TV-8
September 5, 2008

FERNLEY, Nev. (AP) - Developers would face new requirements if they build homes or commercial buildings near the aging Truckee Canal in Fernley under a proposal being considered by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District.

The district board wants to require developers to install an impermeable barrier in any section of the Truckee Canal above new development.

Dave Overvold, TCID project manager, said the barrier would be a vertical concrete wall on the canal's north bank.

A Jan. 5 breach of the canal flooded about 600 Fernley homes. The 31-mile canal, operated and maintained by the irrigation district, sends water from the Truckee River to Fallon-area farmers.

Currently, developers building homes north and downhill of the Truckee Canal are required to widen the canal bank.

Fernley City Councilman Cal Eilrich, former president of the Fernley Builders Association, said he agrees the canal needs to be reinforced, but sees it as more of a public works project than an irrigation district project. He noted that some of worst damage from the January flood occurred a half-mile downstream from the canal breech, and that a concrete wall upstream wouldn't have helped unless it extended the entire length of the canal through Fernley.

"This is an issue that affects all citizens who live in Fernley," said Eilrich, who stressed he was speaking only as a former developer.

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