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Boulders Inn and Suites eye Newton for new hotel location

The Newton City Council will vote on a resolution to partially fund the renovation of a local hotel at 6 p.m. tonight. Boulders Inn and Suites, based in Denison, entered into a preliminary agreement with Bank Iowa to purchase the unfinished hotel located next to the Valero gas station at 4300 S. 22nd Ave. E.

The hotel is expected to open in time for NASCAR season. In order to complete the project, a $125,000 economic land grant and partial property tax rebate are requested.

If approved, construction on the remaining portion of the hotel would begin immediately, and once the project is completed, the city should have a new 42-unit hotel valued at $1.5 million dollars.

Boulders Inn and Suites has six other locations. Their other hotels are situated near Iowa golf courses or lakes in Denision, Lake View, Atlantic, Okoboji and their most recent hotel in Polk City. It will be opening in May.

In the council packet, City Administrator Robert Knabel said, “The city experienced record hotel tax collections” and it “indicated a growing market.” He recommended the city pass the agreement.

Position Change

The council vote to change the city’s city clerk position to HR specialist. The position of city clerk will not eliminated but revised to better suit the clerk’s role and duties.

If approved, the HR specialist will officially have added responsibility. Some of the proposed added responsibilities are maintaining the employee handbook, maintaining personnel files, providing paperwork with open enrollment information and assisting in hiring of future employees.


The council will meet Monday at 6 p.m. to discuss a street pavement project located at E. 31st St. N., costing the city a total of $320,000.

A federal fund will cover 80 percent of the $1.6 million dollar project.

Parking at West 19th Street South may become a little more difficult if the council passes an ordinance on restricting parking.

The Traffic Safety Committee reviewed the property and recommended parking be restricted on both sides of the street. City staff mailed notifications to property owners that maybe affected.

Bridge Replacement

The council will vote on a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation with regard to a bridge replacement project located at S. 12th St. Ave. W.

The Community Investment Plan identified the bridge as “needing to be replaced.” If approved, the city will pay $40,000, with the majority of the cost covered by a $160,000 federal grant. But in order to receive federal funding, the city must submit an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan for city-owned facilities, which will also be put up for a vote.

The act protects the civil rights of people with disabilities. The act requires all city-owned properties to provide handicapped items such as handicapped parking. City staff recommended both resolutions become adopted.

Airport Upgrades

The Newton Municipal Airport may receive upgrades, if the council passes two proposed resolutions. One proposed resolution would upgrade the lighting at the airport. Currently, there is a section without any lighting at the airport’s taxiway. If approved, the project is estimated to cost $25,000, with the city paying $3,750.

In addition to the lights project, the airport requested a drainage study to analyze the change in runoff and stormwater retention. The project is expected to cost $15,000, with the city paying $2,250.

Pipe Replacement

The residents living by the intersection of West Fourth Street South and South 20th Avenue West may notice a lack of odor in the air, if the council agrees to pass a force main extension project. If approved, a new airtight pipe system would be installed, reducing the smell.

Skiff Medical Center

The council will vote on a resolution allowing Skiff Medical Center to place banner brackets downtown to help celebrate “Hospital Week” from May 12-18. In a letter addressed to the council, Skiff CEO Steve Long said, “Skiff will pay for the cost of the banners and the labor cost to put up and take down the banners.”

Fire Department

The council will vote on a resolution to purchase a new $5,180 intercom system for the Newton Fire Department. The current intercom system dates back to the 1980s.

The council will also hold a closed session to discuss the collective bargaining agreements with maintenance employees and the Newton Association of Professional Firefighters.

After the closed meeting, the council will return to vote on the matters discussed.

City Improvement

The council will vote on a resolution to set a public hearing and publication of the cost to demolish a property located at 1011 E. Ninth St. N. and 216 1/2 N. Ninth Ave. W.

The building falls under the “1997 Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings,” which gives the city the authority to demolish it.

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

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