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North Las Vegas to negotiate water rights with LDS church

North Las Vegas wants to buy water rights in Apex from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The City Council on Monday unanimously approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with the church in an effort to lease or buy up to about 2,300 acre-feet of the church’s water rights. Mayor John Lee was absent for the vote.

The city agreed to pay the church $35,000 to enter exclusive negotiations. It’s part of an attempt to secure resources for future tenants of Apex, City Manager Ryann Juden said.

North Las Vegas has 900 acre-feet per year of groundwater in Apex that it leases from the Southern Nevada Water Authority. These rights, however, are considered “junior rights.”

“Senior rights are better to have in a desert in the event there’s ever a water shortage because you’re at least going to get rights over any junior rights,” Juden said. The church has senior water rights.

If the church and city can’t strike a deal, the money is refundable, Juden said.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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