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1. When service is discontinued on any railroad right of way in the state and the property is offered for sale, lease, exchange, or other disposal by the railroad or an affiliated entity, the property must first be offered to the following persons in the order of priority as follows:
a. The present owner or operator-lessee of fixed assets located on the property;
b. A person owning land contiguous to the right of way on opposite sides of the right of way;
c. A person presenting a reasonable plan for public recreational use of the abandoned property which includes the continuation of current private and public crossings; and
d. The adjoining landowner if the adjoining land, at the time of abandonment, is assessed for tax purposes as agricultural land.
2. The railroad company shall provide written notice to present owners and operator-lessees of fixed assets located on the property and shall publish notice of its intent to dispose of railroad right of way in two consecutive issues of the official county newspaper in each county in which the property is located. A railroad company is not required to give a priority party an option to purchase the property unless the party provides a written statement of interest to purchase the property within thirty days after final publication of notice of the railroad company's intent to dispose of the property. The sale price of abandoned railroad property must be equitable.
3. When abandoned railroad right of way is offered for wildlife programs or projects, the proposed acquisitions must first be approved by the board of county commissioners of the county or counties in which the right of way is located under section 20.1-02-17.1 if offered to the state game and fish department or under section 20.1-02-18.1 if offered to the United States department of the interior.
4. If a railroad complies with subsections 1 and 2 and five years have passed since abandonment or since service was discontinued, the railroad may deed the right of way to the county in which the right of way is located upon the acceptance of the county.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - North Dakota Century Code Title 49. Public Utilities § 49-09-04.2. Abandoned railroad right of way--Sale--Priority of purchasers - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nd/title-49-public-utilities/nd-cent-code-sect-49-09-04-2.html
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