The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) purchased a private property owner’s land in Lyon County for significantly more than its original amount in order to build the USA Parkway.
Nearly 4.5 acres were purchased by the state for $725,000.
NDOT originally offered the property owner, Dario Passalalpi, $207,000 for two lots. Records show that he purchased the property in 2015 for about $450,000.
The state Board of Transportation voted in July to use its powers of eminent domain to take the property from Passalalpi.
Passalalpi, in negotiations with the state, verbally told NDOT he would accept a low offer of about $650,000 for the property. He said independent appraisers valued the property at $750,000 to $1.6 million.
NDOT disputed those values, and after voting to condemn his property, the state refused to release the sales price of the 4.4 acres, citing federal confidentiality. But the Lyon County Assessor’s website shows that the property was purchased by the state in late September for $725,000.
NDOT officials said the state needs the property in order to complete construction of the parkway.
Transportation spokesperson Meg Ragonese said that the state seeks to treat all citizens as fairly and equitably as possible.
“It’s … important to remember that we also must protect Nevada taxpayers by ensuring that properties needed for highway improvements are purchased at reasonable market value and are a valid use of taxpayer funds. Therefore, all settlements must be justified and in the best interests of all.”
The state denied low-balling Passalalpi with its original $207,000 offer. USA Parkway will connect Interstate 80 with U.S. Highway 50 east of Sparks.