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Council to discuss Main Street Iowa application

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 11:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 11:27 a.m. CDT

Parks and preservations programs will headline Monday’s regular meeting of the Newton City Council, as discussion regarding updates and future projects in both Newton’s greenspaces and downtown areas take up the majority of the agenda. 

First on the agenda is a briefing regarding the Main Street Iowa program, an organization that has most recently spurred the downtown revitalization of Colfax through numerous grants.  The program, operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center, has been active in Iowa for more than 25 years and is currently comprised of 48 member communities.

According to Director of Finance and Development and Acting City Administrator Bryan Friedman, during  the last few months, “the Newton Chamber of Commerce has been assisting stakeholders of downtown Newton in learning about the process of gaining Main Street Iowa designation.” 

Therefore, executive director of the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce Darrell Sarmento and City of Newton Director of Planning and Zoning Erin Chambers will present an overview of the Main Street Iowa program and its potential applicability to Newton.

Additionally, Nathan Unsworth, administrative superintendent for the parks and grounds division of Newton Public Works, will update the council on the current state of affairs in terms of a long term plan for Newton’s parks. Following an online survey conducted in January as well as meetings and brainstorming sessions, the parks board has identified various potential parks projects. 

Unsworth will highlight potential ideas for the long-term plan, which include maintenance projects like replacing playgrounds and athletic field fencing to new amenities like an aquatic splash pad, restrooms and a new building to house the Westwood Pro Shop. All projects will be finalized by the June 12 Newton City Council meeting.

Furthermore, a second reading of the proposed changes to the City of Newton’s Nuisance Ordinance Code will be conducted. The amendment passed by unanimous vote during the most recent council meeting. 

In other business, the council will approve cigarette and liquor permits for a total of seven Newton gas stations and stores, adjust the fee schedule for the Newton Fire Department ambulance service to align with insurance and Medicare reimbursements, approve quotes for prohibited sanitary sewer discharge removal work at three homes, and authorize financial assistance payments for prohibited sanitary sewer discharge removal work at two additional homes.

Staff writer Nicole Wiegand may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 422, or at nwiegand@newtondailynews.com.

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