Litigation Update

The City would like to give the public an update on the current status of the ongoing litigation and other matters involving the City, the Hopi Tribe, and the Snowbowl Ski Resort. Although the City cannot discuss confidential legal communications, we can provide the following information.

The Hopi Tribe sued the City of Flagstaff several years ago in an effort to stop the City from selling reclaimed water to the Snowbowl Ski Resort. Although the City prevailed on all of the claims with the exception of one brought by the Hopi, the City is still litigating the Hopi's remaining claim that providing reclaimed water to Snowbowl is a public nuisance. Last year the City sued Snowbowl in the same legal matter, asserting that Snowbowl is responsible rather than the City if the Hopi Tribe prevails on its claim.

The City and the Hopi Tribe are working towards a settlement of the lawsuit and are optimistic about the possibility of a resolution of the claim. All of the parties to the lawsuit recently agreed to stay the litigation for at least 60 days as the negotiations continue. The court granted that request in order to allow time to explore resolutions and draft a settlement agreement. If the City and the Hopi Tribe negotiate a settlement agreement, it will come before Council in a public session for approval.

In December 2013, the City purchased 2,251 acres of land on Observatory Mesa from the State. The City later learned that Snowbowl has a portion of its reclaimed water pipeline in an easement across some of the property. That easement expires in August, 2015. The majority of that pipeline easement is co-located with a Transwestern gas line. The City will not interrupt the established use of the property for the pipelines and City staff will issue a temporary easement to Snowbowl for the reclaimed water pipeline.


Verified Answer and Third-party Complaint