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Letter from William Reinhardt (Omaha) to E. E. Bennett (Los Angeles), August 8, 1952







Discussion of the legality of Union Pacific Railroad Company continuing to supply water to the Pacific Fruit Express Company

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Physical Identifier

Box 25 Folder 80-11 Vol. 2 of 3 Part 2, LVL&W Co. Proposed Sale of Water Production Facilities of UPRR Co.


hln001251. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Omaha - August 8, 1952 2180 Mr. E. E. Bennett: Re: Water supply at Las Vegas I have copy of a letter dated August 6 addressed by Mr. Lynch to Mr. Stoddard relative to the Railroad Company developing an independent water supply at Las Vegas, and a copy of that letter is attached. Reference is made in it to a second meeting held on July 8th by the Committee which has been conducting the investigation. It is possible that you have a copy of these minutes but on the odd chance that none was transmitted to you I am also enclosing copy of them. Mr. Lynch has written me under the same date, August 6, in which he refers particularly to the last paragraph of his letter to Mr. Stoddard and asks for my advice as follows: "I will appreciate your opinion as to whether we can make such arrangements or whether there would be some City ordinance or other prohibition against our serving the PFE in the event of the sale of the Las Vegas Land & Water Company rights to the Water District." According to the minutes of the Committee meeting, Mr. Calvin Cory has determined that the Railroad Company may claim that its permit to use 2.5 CFS from Well No. 1 is a vested right acquired prior to March 25, 1939, and consequently capable of being transferred to a new point of diversion at the shop well, and the Committee consequently recommends that the 2.5 CFS be transferred from Well No. 1 in the water field to the shop well. It further recommends that the shop well be used to furnish water to the railroad facilities "including the PFE." From the last paragraph of Mr. Lynch's letter to Mr. Stoddard you will note that Mr. Hulsizer understands that the Water District will strenuously object in the event they acquire our production and distribution facilities if water is supplied to the PFE Company from the shop well as the Water District would then be deprived of that revenue. The Railroad Company's Certificate of appropriation authorizes it to appropriate the water which can be "beneficially used by it for railroad and domestic purposes." In my letter to Mr. Stoddard dated December 13, 1951, with a copy to you, I expressed some doubt "as to whether water furnished the PFE is for a railroad purpose and noted the fact that the same question under somewhat different circumstances was considered in connection with the possible providing of water by the Railroad Company at Laramie, Wyoming, for PFE purposes but it was there concluded that an attempt to furnish water to the PFE under the classification of a "railroad purpose" might lead to difficulty and the considered plan was disregarded. I said further in that connection that considering that the Railroad Company has long been delivering water to the PFE under a private contract we may be able to arrive at a different conclusion at Las Vegas than the one we arrived at Laramie and suggested that your views on this question would be valuable. You touched on this question in the next to the last paragraph of your letter to me of December 21, 1951, in which you said that if the Railroad had an independent supply in excess of its immediate needs you thought it would be feasible to continue the present contract between the Railroad Company and the PFE on the theory that the water furnished to the PFE was surplus water only. I think I would like to have you enlarge upon your discussion of this matter so as to have your opinion expressly on the question of whether the furnishing of water from the shop well, with the transferred appropriation, would be the furnishing of water for a railroad purpose. If this can be considered as a railroad purpose then I cannot foresee the possibility of a City ordinance or other prohibition against our serving the PFE in the event of the sale of the Las Vegas Land & Water Company rights to the Water District." However, I would like to have you consider Lynch's question from all angles and give me an opinion that will enable me to give Mr. Lynch a fully considered answer.