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ity Council to vote on termination of a contract, rezoning

The Newton City Council will vote on a resolution authorizing Newton Mayor Michael Hansen to sign a “letter of engagement” with Brick Gentry, P.C. to research and provide information on contracting legal services at 6 p.m. Monday.

A committee recommended the city work with Brick Gentry for its legal services, including general counsel, special litigation and prosecution.

The council also will vote on a resolution providing notice of the termination of an employment agreement with Darrin T. Hamilton. If Brick Gentry’s contract is approved, it would make Hamilton’s employment with the city unneeded. Hamilton would work until the end of the month and be paid a severance package of $71,349.62.

The council also will vote on a proposal that will rezone the former YMCA Childcare Center and the adjacent Multiple Family Dwelling District to C-N: Neighborhood Commercial

The move was initiated by the Newton YMCA in hopes that a commercial designation would improve their ability to market and sell the property, however, the original  proposal by the YMCA was just to rezone their property, located at 2515 N. Fourth Ave. E., to C-A: Arterial Commercial.

The rezoning proposal changed through the Newton Planning and Zoning Commission discussions. They asked the staff to rework the proposal to change the zoning from C-A: Arterial Commercial to the lower intensity C-N: Neighborhood Commercial. They noted that both the neighbors and the YMCA representation agreed that a lower intensity commercial zone would be better for the desires of the YMCA, as it offers protection to the neighborhood.

Landfill Bids

The council previously approved plans and specifications for the Newton Sanitary Landfill Cells 0-1 and 0-2 Expansion Project and set the dates for receiving bids and holding of the public hearing. The project included the excavation of the cell areas, installation of a groundwater collection and conveyance system, a subtitle 0 composite liner, a leachate collection and conveyance system, and miscellaneous associated work.

There were 11 possible bidders, and city staff recommended awarding the work to Steger Construction Inc. of Dyersville, Iowa for the amount of $784,460. They were the lowest bidder. One company, MPS Engineers in Des Moines, submitted a late bid but it was never  opened.

The council also will consider a resolution to authorize a purchase of $239,793.16 for a front end wheel loader for the Newton Sanitary Landfill.

The existing front end loader is 12 years old and has approximately 8,900 hours of use. Typically, an engine overhaul may be required at about 9,000 to 12,000 engine hours. Replacement of the existing landfill loader was budgeted. If approved, The existing loader will be sold at the first Iowa Department of Transportation’s auction held after the delivery of the new loader.

The council also will review an intergovernmental agreement for the construction of the prison force main extension.

The reasoning for the construction was because the transition from an airtight force main to a gravity sewer has caused odor problems in the neighborhood. The odor from the force main sewage travels along the gravity sewer, and into service lines and out of manholes.

The project includes extending the force main to the wastewater treatment plant. If approved, it would significantly reduce the odor in the neighborhood and allow the prison to save money by decreasing the required amount of odor reducing chemicals.

This project’s estimated construction cost is $60,000, which would be financed by the Newton Water Pollution Control fund.

If approved, The city will be responsible for acquisition of easements, design, completion of plans and specifications, obtaining competitive bids, construction of the project, and construction inspection. Upon completion, acceptance of the project by council, the Iowa Department of Corrections would assume ownership and maintenance responsibility of the force main. They would also reimburse the WPC fund over an 18-month period.

FOX Engineering was hired in 2011 to provide a design for a force main pipe to the WPC plant. The plans require an easement from one landowner. City staff spoke with the landowner and the landowner is willing to grant the needed easement for the force main.

SUDAS Update

The council also will consider a resolution repealing the 2012 City of Newton Supplemental Specifications of the SUDAS Standard Specifications for Public Improvements, and adopting the 2013 edition of it.

The council will be considering a resolution to set a public hearing date and authorizing publication of notice of a citywide urban revitalization plan.

The current program is set to expire in March unless extended by the Newton City Council through a public hearing process. The recommended public hearing date is March 4.  

The goals for the program are:

• to encourage the revitalization of the area;

• to stabilize and increase the tax base within the city;

• to improve the city through new construction and rehabilitation of existing residential, commercial and industrial property;

• to enhance the area by increasing land values and providing an overall aesthetic improvement;

• to make needed public improvements within the area.

I&I Payments

The council will consider authorizing the following financial assistance payments for prohibited sanitary sewer discharge removal work:

• $1,885 to Jerry & Joyce Caddell for their property located at 707 E. 15th St. N.

• $2,608 to Lyle & Marcella Karsten for their property located at 1433 N. Seventh Ave. E.

They will also consider authorizing the following quotes for prohibited sanitary discharge removal work:

• $2,600 to Kermit  and Marry Terry for their property located at 209 W. Seventh St. S.

• $2,704 to Curtis and Cheryl Templeman for their property located at 724 S. Second Ave. W.

• $2,870 to William and Janet Plumb for their property located at 115 W. Eighth St. S.

Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at

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