Blaine County Pipeline Easement

Our family has been contacted by a company who would like to run a pipe(s) through our property Section 1, 14N, 13W. I am curious if anyone else has been contacted and what the going rate is for a pipeline. I am aware there are a number of factors, such as the number of pipes and construction needs, but would like to know if the $60k offered is reasonable or if there is room to negotiate.

We are also looking for a recommendation for legal help regarding this matter and others.

Any comments or direction is greatly appreciated.

Always room to negotiate. Someone closer to your location may be able to give you a current price which is usually quoted as a price per rod (16 1/2 ft) or per acre depending upon how large an area the company wants. You will be granting the pipeline company an easement which will be recorded at the courthouse. You will essentially lose the ability to use the land for other things but will still have to pay property tax on it. It is like selling a bit of your land but keeping the property tax liability. The pipeline company may want to run machines through the right of way to keep it mowed or otherwise cleared.

We did one very recently in Blaine, and the going rate was $250/rod, for a single pipeline (a rod is 16.5 feet). Can't tell from your description how many rods are involved; sometimes they angle across a property.

We put in a clause saying that if anyone else got a higher rate, they had to meet that for us as well.

The other issue to get straight from the outset is payment of crop damages to the tenant, if there is one. If they are going across a wheat field that hasn't been cut yet, that is a bigger issue than going across pasture, but in all cases, you need to make clear about the payment to the tenant, and who pays it. If your property has terraces, you may want to be extra careful about that and make sure they are property rebuilt.

The width of the right of way is another variable. You can, for example, make it 50 feet during construction, reduced to 25 feet after completion, etc.

One other issue regards the tax treatment of this payment; they typically allocate part of the payment to "damages", and part of the payment to the right of way easement. Sometimes they ask you how you wish to apportion this. The more you can legitimately classify as damages, the less income tax you pay in the year of the check.