Sanitary Dist. No. 1 v. State

In Sanitary Dist. No. 1 v. State, 1 Ariz. App. 45, 49, 399 P.2d 179, 183 (1965), the State and Sanitary District No. 1 of Pima County ("the District") disputed who was responsible for the costs of relocating the District's sewer line caused by highway construction. 1 Ariz. App. at 46, 399 P.2d at 180. The State had acquired the right-of-way in which the sewer line was placed at some time prior to the sewer installation. Id. at 46-47, 399 P.2d at 180-81. Although the sewer construction was completed pursuant to a written permit, there was a dispute about whether the permit had expired, and whether there was any existing agreement between the parties. Id. at 47-49, 399 P.2d at 181-83. Even though we disagreed, we accepted the District's contention that the permit had expired for purposes of argument, but nevertheless concluded that the District was obligated to bear the relocation costs. Id. at 49-51, 399 P.2d at 183-85. The Court held that "the law has been spelled out in this state that a public utility has the duty of relocating its lines when such is made necessary by street improvements." Id. at 49, 399 P.2d at 183. The Court also noted, in light of the fact that the District was not a private utility provider, that, "insofar as the duty to relocate water and/or sewer lines is concerned, . . . a municipality is in no better position than a privately owned public utility." Id. at 49, 399 P.2d at 183.