OGDEN — A property owner has gone to court seeking $2.1 million in damages from a sewer district and a contractor over a major pipeline project that went through his land in Marriott-Slaterville.

The suit, filed in late December in Ogden’s 2nd District Court, pits Frank Blair of Layton against the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District and Brigham City-based Whitaker Construction.

Blair alleges the entities have failed to adequately compensate him for the use and disruption of his land. He said the project, which concluded about three years ago, also affected his property values.

Central Weber Sewer 01

The BDO pump station at Central Weber Sewer Improvement District treatment facility on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. A property owner is suing the sewer district over use of his land for this major sewer line in Marriott-Slaterville.

“Blair has suffered damages exceeding $2 million as a result of the sewer district’s failure either to pay for a permanent easement for its occupation of the property or to commence a condemnation proceeding in accordance with state law,” the suit said.

Blair’s land runs from 1200 West to Interstate 15 at about 800 North. His parcel was one of several needed for the BDO Outfall Sewer, which greatly expanded sewer capacity in the fast-growing northern side of Weber County.

The suit said the project diminished potential development of his property after the project was completed.

As well, when the possibility of development through his land became known in about 2000, that publicity put a cloud on the title and the land’s marketability, the suit said.

In 2013, as the project finally neared, Blair signed an agreement with the district “under threat of eminent domain and in anticipation of a possible condemnation action by the district ... pending further negotiations,” according to the suit.

Blair’s suit included Whitaker as a defendant over alleged misuse of his property during and after the project and an alleged failure to properly restore the ground. He seeks $100,000 in damages from the contractor.

The result of the project amounts to a “de facto permanent easement” governing the land and the district has failed “to make even a token effort to compensate Blair fully,” the suit said.

“There is a disagreement on the amount of the compensation,” the sewer district’s general manager, Lance Wood, said Tuesday.

He declined to comment on the dispute because it’s now under litigation, but he offered details about the overall project.

“There is an original line on 400 North and Pioneer Road that was reaching capacity,” Wood said. “The BDO line is to relieve pressure on the older line. It intercepts sewer from the northeast part of the county.”

Sewer line project in Marriott-Slaterville

Whitaker Construction Co. finished a $14.3 million project in 2015 called the BDO Outfall Sewer. The line runs from Business Depot Ogden underneath Interstate 15 to the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District plant in Farr West. A property owner is suing the district and the company, alleging his property was used without fair compensation.

Mike Whitaker, owner and president of the construction company, also declined to comment because of the lawsuit.

Reached at his home in Layton, Blair would not comment. His attorney, Craig Jacobsen of Clearfield, likewise had no comment.

The sewer district serves most communities in Weber County as well as South Weber in Davis County. According to district records, the agency manages 57 miles of outfall sewer lines and treated 40 million gallons of water in 2017.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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