$12 Million Deal for Ranch for Carson Bypass

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A $12 million settlement, for local ranch land the state Transportation Department initially wanted to buy for less than $2 million for a freeway bypass, was announced Tuesday by the agency.

The settlement cancels a scheduled June 1 trial of a condemnation action brought by the state for the property being acquired from the Lompa family, which has been ranching for several decades on land now ringed by subdivisions, businesses and other development.

The Transportation Department already has built drainage improvements on part of the property needed to complete the $260 million-plus bypass from Lakeview Hill on the north end of Carson City to U.S. 50 on the south end of town. The entire bypass should be completed by 2010.

The state at first sought 123 acres of Lompa property for about $1.8 million. In negotiations involving Lompa attorney Laura FitzSimmons and state lawyers that began in 2000, the amount of land was scaled back to 82 acres - and the price climbed. At one point, the Lompas sought $15 million to $18 million for the land.

The deal announced Tuesday still leaves the Lompas with about 350 acres of open land in the capital city. The ranch originally was 820 acres.

Building a bypass as a way to deal with traffic, which otherwise must travel through the middle of the city on Carson Street, has been discussed for more than 50 years.