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Devils Lake to pay $1.7 million in eminent domain case

DEVILS LAKE — The city of Devils Lake is paying more than $1.7 million to Mertens Farms in an eminent domain settlement over land the city acquired for its flood protection project.

The agreement, approved last week by the City Commission, ends litigation involving about 10 acres of land, as well as part of a lagoon located on Mertens Farms, according to a copy of the agreement obtained through a public records request.

Lakeview Dairy is at Mertens Farms, which has been in the Devils Lake area since 1957.

The $1.7 million includes about $700,000 the city previously paid to Mertens Farms during long-running negotiations that began in 2000. Prior to the flood project, the lagoon was located on property owned by both Mertens Farms and the city.

The flood control embankment was started in 1984, according to the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board.

Devils Lake, which has risen by about 30 feet and quadrupled in size since 1992, reached a record elevation of 1,454.4 feet above sea level in 2011. The lake was at 1,452.9 feet Monday.

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