Have a 20 space park in a very, very small town in a very rural region. Purchased the park from original owner who built in early 90s. When we purchased the park the water comes through a private water line that the owner put in that is connected to the City main. The private water line runs some 1200 feet through his property from the City main to our park. When we purchased the park we had an 20' wide easement drawn over the water line on his property from the main to the park.
The town has received a grant to install meters throughout the community. We will have one master meter installed at the City main to measure and bill our water to the park. Ok... all is cool so far.
Here is the rub. In the course of all this the park's prior owner who sold to us (good ol' boy who was the mayor at the time and somewhat of a bully) never had the water line from the main permitted or inspected. He just went to the three person City council, said he was putting in a MHP and hooked his own water up. These conversations are in the City Hall minutes but low and behold... there are no permits.
Now 25 years later the City, under new professionalism/leadership while working with the Feds on this water meter grant has implied that the 1200 private water line is not to code, never been permitted and 'may need to be replaced'. Gulp... and I am not drinking water...
My questions are...
With an easement do I personally own the private water line that the prior owner put in and runs through his property? The water line was never addressed in closing- I never dreamed it would not have been permitted. I live in Western Washington (the liberal side) where you need a permit and a tax to walk your dog. Park is in much more rural Eastern Washington.
If I do own it does the prior owner have any responsibility for never permitting the line? Will he be held accountable.
Tried to do some research on easements... but had a hard time narrowing down the topic.
Any insights would be appreciated.