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Council to nominate downtown Newton to National Register Of Historic Places Project

The Newton City Council will vote on a contract with the State Historical Society of Iowa to nominate Downtown Newton to be a part of the National Register Of Historic Places Project at 6 p.m. Monday night.

If approved, it would allow for some property owners to receive possible tax credits, but the biggest concern the city heard from property owners was if they would have restrictions on what they can do with their property?

The answer is no.

The council packet said being on the National Register of Historical places does not restrict a person’s property rights. Neither the city or the state have any special regulation requirements for homes that are considered historic, unless they are funded by state or federal dollars.

The National Register of Historic Homes does provide some benefits for property owners such as economic development benefits and increased tourism. If approved, property that is older than 50 years may be eligible for a number of financial resources that owners would otherwise not receive.


In June 2012, the Newton Historic Preservation Commission completed the Intensive Level Survey and Evaluation Project Downtown. Their research determined there was a historic quality to Newton’s Downtown and the district would be eligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last fall, the council authorized a commission to apply for a government grant to complete the nomination process for placing the Downtown Newton on the National Register of Historic Places. The $8,225.60 grant was awarded in full and was used to pay for the hiring of a preservation consultant who will lead the commission through the nominating process.

Operating Budget

The council will vote on adopting the proposed 2013-14 budget that included a city property tax levy causing citizens to pay about $15 per every $1,000 taxable.

Landfill Fees

The council will vote on a proposed resolution that would increase the tipping fee by 50 cents per ton, increase the tire fee by $1 and raise the large equipment tire fee by $170 per ton. If approved, it will go into effect by July 1.

City Administrator Bob Knabel said the fee is to help the landfill with operations.

Iowa Speedway

The council will be voting on two resolutions regarding emergency services for the Iowa Speedway. One proposed resolution would allow the Newton Fire Department to enter the speedway in the event the speedway’s ambulance could not attend the emergency, and the other proposed resolution would allow a firefighter pump operator and pumper truck to be present at the speedway when requested.

I&I Payments

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

• $1,845 to Edward and Suzanne Vanzandt for their property located at  609 E. 13th St. N

• $3,000 to Richard and Elaine James for their property located at 602 S. 14th Ave. W.

• $3,000 to Candice Thompson for her property located at 300 E. 19th St. N.

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

• $3,051 Daniel and Ronda Birkenholz for their property located at 319 W. Eighth St. S.

• $2,685 to Earl and Velda Wolff for their property located at 825 S. Second Ave. W.

• $1,300 to Latisha Slycord for their property located at 410 W. Ninth St. S.

• $2,128 to Craig and Deborah Hansen for their property located at 1013 S. Fifth Ave. W.

The council will also:

• vote to approve the city’s urban renewable project that is meant to stabilize and increase the tax base within the city through new construction and rehabilitation of existing residential, commercial and industrial property.

• vote to amend Newton’s Municipal Airport management contract, fuel fee agreement and lease with Johnson Aviation, Inc.

• vote on a purchase of a new single-axle truck for the Public Works Department. If approved, it will replace the city’s 1995 Chevrolet Kodiak plow truck, which will be kept in the fleet as backup.

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

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