Plans delayed in building a reservoir; land owner voices concern

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NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – Plans to build a reservoir in Newton County will take longer than previously thought, a delay that’s frustrating a property owner negotiating to sell her land.

Newton County property owner Dawn Newlin says she started talking to Missouri American Water Company to sell back in March. She operates a horse therapy ranch that helps to treat veterans with PTSD. She had hoped to close on the sale in March, in time for the busy season in the Spring and Fall.

The company had initially said most of the land would be purchased some time between 2019 and 2021, extending the first offer to Newlin. She refused that offer, saying it’s not enough money and plans to make a counter offer for her 20 acres.

“Well and we were issued the letter of intent to purchase in May. And we were, are just sitting here waiting.

Dawn Newlin, Trinity Circle

“Is not a quick process because there are so many state and federal regulations we have to adhere to. So nothing is moving very quickly at this point.”

Christy Barnhart, Missouri American Water

Missouri American Water Company is currently working on an environmental impact statement for the reservoir they intend to create a few miles southwest of Diamond. Workers say those results could significantly impact where or even if they build the project, leading them to delay most land purchases in 2022.

The changes in timeline means the reservoir could open in 2026, unless there are further problems.

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