Newton to pursue eminent domain for new water tower

The city of Newton is moving forward with land acquisition to construct a new water tower on E. First Street, replacing the oldest water storage tank owned by the city.

This week, the city commission approved filing condemnation papers for tracts of land owned by BNSF and NorTrack — an attempt to cut through bureaucratic red tape as the city attempts to negotiate the purchase of property and create access easements.

“BNSF has layers of bureaucracy to go through and we just were not getting anywhere, even though some at the lower end had no problem with this,” said Bob Myers, city manager a legal counsel.

Myers said in the past, railroad representatives have actually asked municipalities to file eminent domain proceedings to work around the railroad’s real estate department.

(Read more: Newton Kansan)