Monday, February 3, 2014

Pala Sewer Pump Dispute

Article in today's Union Tribune:

Union Tribune - Tribe put sewer pump on family's property

By Edward Sifuentes 6 a.m.  Feb. 3, 2014

— Members of a family on the Pala Indian Reservation say the tribe put a large sewer pump on their property without their knowledge or permission.

Vincent Marruffo, whose family owns a 2-acre property north of state Route 76, said the pump was built on the land seven years ago but no one contacted the family for permission. Marruffo said he found out about the pump a year ago when he was doing research into his family’s land holdings.
Now the tribe and the family are talking about how to resolve the problem.

Doug Elmets, a spokesman for Pala, said tribal leaders are working with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to reach an agreement with the family.

“The tribe and the BIA have been working together cooperatively to resolve the situation and currently appraisals are being submitted to determine the appropriate compensation for the pump station,” Elmets said.

The lot is about a mile east of the Pala Casino west of Lilac Road. It has been in Marruffo’s family for generations, but had been vacant for many years. The family is made up of about 70 individuals, some of whom are Pala tribal members and others who are not.

Marruffo is a Pala descendant and says he is eligible for membership but the tribe disagrees.

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