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Council to vote to create new position

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 11:42 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 29, 2013 11:43 a.m. CDT

The Newton City Council will vote to authorize the abolishment of the Landfill Superintendent position, Acting Street Superintendent position and create a Public Works Operations Assistant Superintendent position at is next meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

The Landfill Superintendent has already retired and the position is being fulfilled by a temporary superintendent who also happens to be the Equipment Operator. Staff recommended the position be abolished and if approved, it is expected to save the city approximately $7,000.

Pavement Project

In 2006, a paving project was completed on Iowa Speedway Drive, Rusty Wallace Drive and the adjacent intersections and is now in need of replacement. City staff recommended the 21.5 miles of join sealant along with the 3.7 miles of roadway be replaced.

If approved, preliminary work can get started and the estimated cost for the proposed project is $210,000. The recommend date to receive bids is April 25, 2013 and the recommended public hearing date is May 6. Additional, if approved, the project will be paid using Speedway TIF and Prairie Fire TIF funds and is expected to be completed by Oct 11. Work on the project will not be allowed immediately before and during race weekends at the speedway.

Vicious Dog

With last year’s dog attacks, the council decided to adopt a vicious dog resolution, imposing stricter regulations on dogs considered dangerous. The council will now decide if the ruling is justified to an appeal.

Tax Rebates

During last months council meeting, members approved a resolution that allowed a new hotel chain to receive tax breaks in order for it to renovate its location in time for the upcoming Iowa Speedway season, and two more locations have requested similar services — Newton Lodge and Suits, LLC and the U.S. Motorsport Corporation.

In 2007, the council approved a development agreement with Newton Lodge and Suites to build a hotel at 220 Iowa Speedway Drive, and agreed to provide a series of property tax rebates after a assessment. The project was completed in 2009 and was assessed to be valued at a minimal of $2.6 million through 2018.

The hotel is requesting a tax rebate in compliance with its city agreement.

The U.S. Motorsport Corporation is also requesting tax breaks in compliance with its city agreement. Its contract allows it to receive one more tax rebate in compliance with its 2005 contract.

Plans come to a vote

After many months of preparation the City Action Plan and the Community Investment Plan will be put to a vote.

The City Action Plan was first created back in September and its goals are:

• Maintain the city’s financial stability and enhance community investment.

• Develop an effective, innovative and professional staff.

• Be a growing center for business and commerce in Central Iowa.

• Develop and take full advantage of advancing technology.

• Be the safest city in Central Iowa.

• Be the preferred community to live in Central Iowa.

In the council packet, Knabel said the Community Investment Plan has been in the works since January and is targeted to provide a plan to identify projects that could transform the community by providing council members with a list of needs.

City staff recommended council approve both plans.

Demolition

Citizens will be able voice their opinions, as the council will hold a public hearing before voting to demolish several properties, which are located at 126 1/2 N. Ninth Avenue West and 1011 E. Ninth St. N.

Both buildings fall under the 1997 Uniform Code for Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, which gives the city the authority to demolish them.

Police Budget

With the approval of the proposed 2013-14 budget, several departments may receive updated equipment Monday, including the possibility of the Newton Police Department receiving two new marked squad cars.

In Knabel’s report, he said two of the current squad cars are said to have high mileage and are “in need of replacement.” The department is planning to sell the two vehicles that have the highest mileage allow it to have a more reliable fleet of vehicles. If approved, they will cost the city $48,752.

The department may also be approved for three in-squad digital video recording cameras. Last year, the department applied for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Grant, and were approved for $24,000. The grant will allow the department to use $16,500 for cameras as well as hardware and software.

The lowest bid for the equipment came from Digital Ally DVM 750 for $26,280. Staff recommended the council approve the bid.

Cemetery

A $26,500 120 niche columbarium may be approved at the next council meeting. If approved, payment will be made to Watts Family Monuments Inc., a Montezuma-based company. City staff recommended the purchase for the cemetery since the budget included $30,000 for a columbarium.

Gas Plant Site

Terracon Consultants provided an agreement for services to perform a reassessment and monitoring for the former manufactured gas plant site for $74,625. The supplement to the agreement is for a change in scope of services and fees to the original Terracon Consultants agreement back in March 2010.

Committee

A new committee called “Implementing Newton’s Future” may be formed after the council meeting. The committee will be focusing on issues regarding the city’s Comprehensive Plan to better improve the community.

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

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