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Council nominates downtown to National Register of Historic Places

The Newton City Council unanimously agreed to nominate Downtown Newton to the National Register of Historic Places at Monday’s council meeting.

Planning and Zoning Director Erin Chambers told the council the nomination meant the year-long process can begin and they can expect an answer back by the end of May or early June.

Chambers told the board a consultant whom was hired to help determine if downtown would be eligible to be nominated, found the main reason why the area was significant was because of the history of Maytag in Newton during the 1950s and 1960s.

“It does speak to a particular point in Newton’s history, and it’s (the consultant’s report) very keen on that,” Chambers said.

The council reminded members that being on the National Register of Historic Places does not mean homeowners’ property rights will be restricted.


The council approved the 2013-2014 budget, but not without some disagreement. Councilman Dennis Julius asked the council to give 0.9 percent, or $67,000, of the General Government Fund revenues back to the taxpayers.

Julius said the council should reward the citizens of Newton, and was looking for another member to second his motion.

City Administrator Robert Knabel told the council if voted to give back the $67,000 to the taxpayers, the city would have to transfer funds to cover it.

No council member seconded the motioned and it died.

The budget also included a 15-cent increase in the city’s property tax levy.

Landfill Fees

The council passed a resolution that raised the tipping fee by 50 cents per ton, increased the tire fee by $1 and raised the large equipment tire fee by $170 per ton. It will go into effect July 1.

Iowa Speedway

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

I&I Payments

The council approved 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 also approved 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 her 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 also:

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

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

• Approved the purchase of a new single-axle truck for the Public Works Department. 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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