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Council set to amend Newton’s nuisance code

After spening a good portion of April’s meetings discussing Newton’s current nuisance ordinances, the Newton City Council will look to amend those at tonight’s meeting.

The ordinance would “require property owner accountability and provide a more useful enforcement tool for staff” by replacing Title 2, Chapter 13, Articles 1 and 2 with new code requirements. Specifically adressed in the new language are perpetual garage sales, limiting time on Ty-Vek covered homes and storage of vehicles in the right-of-way.

Director of Finance and Development and Acting City Administrator Bryan Friedman explained in his council report the amendments’ objective “clearly aligns with ‘Newton’s Future,’ the recently adopted comprehensive plan” and that “holding all property owners accountable for their property performance and improving the enforcement tools and regulations is a critical first step.”

In other business, Mayor Mike Hansen will sign a resolution designating May as “Historic Preservation Month.” The theme of the month is “See! Save! Celebrate!” and is sponsored in-part by the Newton Historic Preservation Comission and the Nationsl Trust for Historic Preservation.

Additionally, councilors will give the public an oppotunity to comment on five varying issues during the recently-instated “Public Hearing” format of the Council’s meetings.

The subject of these hearings will be:

• on a resolution amending the current 2012-13 budget for the fiscal year ending June 30. As the state of Iowa requires that cities not exceed the budgeted expenditure for nine different programs, budget adjustments are made each May. The total amendment to all expenditures is $3,383,789.

• on a resolution accepting a purchase proposal for property at 2009 First Ave. E. The property, a brick home next to Aurora Heights Park’s tennis courts that used to house the RSVP Program, is currently owned by the city, but selling the property would be considered if an appropriate bid were made. To date, no proposals have been received.

• on a resolution awarding the contract for the Water Pollution Control Facility Tank Mechanism Rehabilitation Project. According to Friedman’s Council Report, “(t)he metal mechanisms in the tanks are approximately 27 years old have become corroded and need to be sandblasted and recoated” and that doing so would give the mecanisms 20-30 more years of functionality. The Council received seven bids for the project, with the lowest bid from Van Nevels Coating of Victor at a proposed cost of $308,500.

• on a resolution awarding the contract for the 2013 Pavement Joint Sealing Project. The 2006 paving of Iowa Speedway Dr., Rusty Wallace Dr., and adjacent intersections is now due for preventative maintenance. The specified completion date for this project is October 11; work will not be performed during Iowa Speedway race events. Six bids for the project have been received since the bidding opened on April 25. The lowest bid was made by Illowa Investment of Blue Grass at a proposed cost of $84,738.30.

• on a resolution awarding the contract for the Prison Force Main Extension Project. The Council has received 13 bids for the project, the lowest of which was offered by SL Baumeir Co. LLC of Gladbrook at a proposed cost of $103,860.

Additionally, the Council will vote on two resolutions.

The first will amend the intergovernmental agreement for the construction of the Newton Correctional Facility Sewer Force Main Extension to the City of Newton Water Pollution Control Plant. Due to increased costs, a reimbursement agreement with the prison will being extended from 18 to 36 months.

Secondly, the Council will vote on a resolution authorizing the purchase of the Fourth of July fireworks display through J&M Displays. By singing a three-year contract with J&M, the City secures an extra $1,050 of firework product to be included in the show each year as a bonus offered by J&M to returning customers.

This year, J&M has offered an 8-percent bonus for a full, early payment. Thus, this year’s show, which comes at a total cost of $7,000 raised by the Park Board, will amount to a show worth $7,650.

Staff writer Nicole Wiegand my be contacted at (641)-792-3121, ext. 422, or at via email.

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