Disposal of lands; issuance of licenses for use of lands; compensation for injured property
The Secretary of State is authorized to lease any land heretofore or hereafter acquired under any Act, Executive order, or treaty in connection with projects, in whole or in part, constructed or administered by the Secretary of State through the said American Commissioner, or to dispose of such lands when no longer needed, subject to applicable regulations under chapters 1 to 11 of title 40 and division C (except sections 3302, 3306(f), 3307(e), 3501(b), 3509, 3906, 4104, 4710, and 4711) of subtitle I of title 41, by sale at public auction, after thirty days’ advertisement, at a price not less than that which may be fixed by three disinterested appraisers, to be designated by the Secretary of State, or by private sale, or otherwise, at not less than such appraised value: Provided, That any of such land as shall have been donated to the United States and which is no longer needed may be reconveyed, without cost, to the grantor or his heirs: Provided, further, That the lease or disposal of any land pursuant hereto may, in the discretion of the Secretary of State, be subject to reservations in favor of the United States for rights-of-way for irrigation, drainage, river work, and other purposes, and any such disposal may be conditioned upon and made subject to inclusion of such lands in any existing irrigation district in the vicinity of such lands, the proceeds of any such lease or sale to be covered into the Treasury of the United States: And provided further, That in the discretion of the Secretary of State, and subject to such conditions as he may deem appropriate, conveyances of any other of such lands not needed by the United States may be made to the State to which they lie adjacent or to any similarly situated county, city, or other governmental subdivision of such State, without cost, for use for public purposes.
The Secretary of State is further authorized to issue revokable licenses for public or private use for irrigation or other structures or uses not inconsistent with the use of such lands made, or to be made, by the United States, across any lands retained by the United States, and to execute all necessary leases, title instruments, and conveyances, in order to carry out the provisions of this section.
Whenever the construction of any project or works undertaken or administered by the Secretary of State through the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, results in the interference with or necessitates the alteration or restoration of constructed and existing irrigation or water-supply structures, sanitary or sewage disposal works, or other structures, or physical property belonging to any municipal or private corporation, company, association, or individual, the Secretary of State may cause the restoration or reconstruction of such works, structures, or physical property or the construction of others in lieu thereof or he may compensate the owners thereof to the extent of the reasonable value thereof as the same may be agreed upon by the American Commissioner with such owner.
The Secretary of State acting through such officers as he may designate, is further authorized to consider, adjust, and pay from funds appropriated for the project, the construction of which resulted in damages, any claim for damages accruing after March 31, 1937, caused to owners of lands or other private property of any kind by reason of the operations of the United States, its officers or employees, in the survey, construction, operation, or maintenance of any project constructed or administered through the American Commissioner, International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, if such claim for damages does not exceed $1,000 and has been filed with the American Commissioner within one year after the damage is alleged to have occurred, and when in the opinion of the American Commissioner such claim is substantiated by a report of a board appointed by the said Commissioner.