Ask Joe: Why do city crews maintain private waterway?

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Updated: 3/24/2014 7:01 pm
From the Ask Joe file, one of our viewers has a question about how our tax dollars are being spent in the city of Reno.
John Svahn wrote in to ask about the Steamboat Ditch. He wants to know since it is privately owned, why does he see city of Reno trucks and crews cleaning debris out of it?

John, Joe checked with the city's Public Works Department about this.
The Steamboat Ditch is privately owned. It runs 34 miles from the Truckee River in Verdi, down to Rhodes Road in south Reno and is used to carry irrigation water.
Even though it is privately owned, the city of Reno does help to maintain it by clearing out tree branches and other trimmings, so they do not end up in the ditch.
Joe Coudriet in the Public Works Department said the city has an interest, because there are a number of city drains and stormwater facilities that empty into the Steamboat Ditch. also, if the ditch does get backed up and overflows, that would impact anyone who lives near it.

So it is something of a public-private partnership. It is one of those times when a facility is owned by a private group, but impacts the public very much and that's why city crews devote some of their time and resources to maintain it.
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Kramer - 3/25/2014 6:49 PM
0 Votes
and because they're obligated to clean out the gunk left alongside the ditch due 2 homeless "flops"

nubgnngs42 - 3/25/2014 1:30 PM
0 Votes
So in other words if my privately owned water well pumps water that drains into a city drain, but freezes up, breaks and floods the neighbors basement, it's the city's fault? NOT! They should be cleaning this or being billed for the cleanup since a private owner's NEGLECT caused a problem of flooding. Any damages caused by their water ditch not being properly maintained is the private owner's liability not the city/county's.

CTofReno - 3/25/2014 9:54 AM
0 Votes
That can't be true. I live by the Steamboat ditch and it is City owned (as I was less than delicately told). If tax dollars are the issue why worry about the cost of cleaning a small tributary when we are spending millions on the South East Connector white elephant road.

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