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SSMID board to recommend bid to city council

The Newton Self Supported Municipal Improvement District met for a special meeting to approve bids for planting and sidewalk care in the downtown district Tuesday morning.

The board was formed earlier in the year with the task of improving the downtown district.

Members reviewed the single proposed bid of $100 per month for the planting care of the district.

“There was one bid and that was from Randy’s Snow Removal,” Newton Director of Planning & Zoning Erin Chambers said. “That planting care bid was accepted by the board (and) they recommended it for approval to the City Council. That will go upon City Hall’s agenda for May 6th, and if it should be approved by the City Council, we shall move forward with that contract.”

The recommended bid to the council will cost $600.

“For the watering fee, we ask that they bid the water out separately so that we can pay for what is actually used,” Chambers said. “Should it be a wet year, maybe we will pay a little less. Should it be a very dry year, like last year, that fee will be a little more but we wanted it to be a per time basis.”

She said the reason was to not short the contractor money or the SSMID fund. The board also reviewed proposed bids for sidewalk care. Although the board received four bids, members did not agree to recommend any bids to the council.

“All of the bids were pretty high and would utilize most of their funds for the upcoming year and they wanted to explore the option of figuring out a way to bring that cost down,” Chambers said. “And being judicious with SSMID dollars, they want to get the best value they can and they want to explore other options.”

The bids were from Ken Frederick, Bob Denneson, Loran Haines and Randy Ray. Frederick’s bid was for $9,600 per year, Denneson’s bid was for $11,000 per year, Haines’ bid was for $13,500 per year and Ray’s bid was for $5,500 per year.

Chambers said Randy Ray is affiliated with Randy’s Snow Removal.

“The SSMID fund should, in a fiscal year, get about $13,000 so you can see why these numbers make them pretty nervous because that (would) consume an awful lot of their $13,000 fund,” Chambers said. “They would not have much left for any other projects they might want to do be it trash cans or bike racks or some of the other things they talked about.”

Chambers went on to say members may possibly be interested in using a city employee or a seasonal employee. If that option was sought, the board would have to do a lot of “foot work,” she added.

“Just a note, the SSMID board is only a recommending body to the City Council so their decision has to then move forward to City Council for final approval,” Chambers said.

She also would like to invite any member of the community to attend the board’s public meetings at 1700 N. Fourth Ave. W. Its next meeting is set for 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 8.

Matthew Shepard can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 425 or via email at

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