The Ely Times

S&S Shortline Leasing is once again presenting the City of Ely with a settlement offer. The offer will be presented at this Thursday’s City Council meeting.  

The offer could settle the litigation and all other outstanding issues if approved.  

What is the offer? The city would dismiss its claims in the litigation with prejudice. S&S would pay the city $150,000 for all alleged damages. The dismissal will resolved all claims by both sides regarding past and future amounts due under the lease/joint development agreement.

The city and S&S would enter into an agreement to lease all of the land the city owns under what has been referred to as the Nevada Northern Railway.  The lease would be for 99 years at 50,000 a year. This amount would stay consistent for 1-5 years of the lease. For years 6-10 the lease would increase by 1 percent. In years, 11-15, the lease would increase an additional 1 percent. In 16 years, the parties would meet to discuss the cost adjustment to the yearly amount of the lease for the next five years.

The city would keep its rights of way on both sides of the track.  If S&S removes any track, it will replace the same within three years of removal.  

S&S will pay the city $225,000 for all of the assets above the ground on the leased property, such as rail, ties, ballasts, etc.  Along with several other key points of the settlement offer. 

This isn’t the first offer that S&S has offered to the city. In addition to that, the City of Ely has made an offer to S&S Shortline  

In December of 2016, S&S railroad offered the city $750,000, which $50,000 would have been used to pay for the legal expense incurred and the $700,000 was going to be given to the city.  

The city voted against this offer.  This offer was rejected by a 4-1 vote.

June 22, 2018 the Ely Times reported S&S offering the City of Ely $1.5 million in in exchange for settlement avoiding the risk of trial.  

The City would have had to transfer its interest in the Northern Line, including the land above-ground surface assets to S&S, in exchange for settlement.  

This agreement also included granting the city an easement for future utility corridor on the Northern line.  

Mike Williams was quoted at the June 25 city council meeting”if we can’t get it settled, then we say I’m done, a half a million dollars, someone is gonna win, someone is gonna lose, again I’m open.”  

The motion to reject this offer was made by Councilman Sam Hanson, seconded by Councilman Tony Defelice and the offer was ultimately rejected. 

On October 5, 2015, the city presenting S&S Shortline with an offer.  The Ely Times reported on an offer that Odgers was quoted saying “the city and the foundation are working together, probably the first time in the history of the city and the foundation, towards a common goal.”  

This offer outlined how there wouldn’t be any money exchanged, and the city would write off anything that they owed if it went to trial. 

Odgers had also noted that that particular agreement would have put everyone in the same position they were in March 2009, before the lawsuit began.  The letter was sent and no action was taken.  

The last portion of the current offer also stated that the proposal is not contingent on S&S settling the litigation with the White Pine Historical Foundation. 

It will be up to the city council to decide whether this offer should be approved or rejected. If approved, the good faith settlement will be presented to District Court Judge Steve Dobrescu.