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School board to hold public hearing on former Maytag home Monday

On Monday, the Newton Community School District Board of Education will hold a special public hearing with regard to the reading of the bids for the former Maytag home/District Office located at 807 S. Sixth Ave. W.

During the July 22 board meeting, the board reported it had received no bids for the property by the July 15 deadline. With no offers to weigh, the board voted to extend the deadline for bidding to Aug. 1.

In addition to extending the deadline, the vote turned Monday’s special meeting into a public hearing.

As of press time, the only known bidder is Thombert Inc. CEO Walt Smith. During that meeting, Smith commented on his offer.

“I’ve made a fairly low offer,” Smith said during the meeting. “You may recall that I purchased the E.A. Maytag home — at a time that nobody thought it could be saved — and restored it.  I think it’s a great home today. I’ve also been involved in the Fred Maytag II guest house last fall, intending to do something as I would do to this building.”

Smith said the building would take extensive work to restore, but that he would use the building to house offices for charitable organizations and create a senior medical spa. He also said that his offer would expire on Aug. 31.

The board property is currently valued at $167,357 by the real estate website

“It’s up to you,” Smith said. “It’s an opportunity and I’m willing to take it on. I think it will benefit Newton.”

As Thursday’s deadline to submit nomination forms to run for the board passed, only three candidates have emerged. Incumbent board president Andy Elbert, board member Sherri Benson and former board member Joe Klingensmith.

Don Poynter announced he would not seek re-election at a June 10 board meeting and Dennis Combs didn’t turn in the necessary paperwork to retain his position.

With only three out of four seats being sought, the board will have to make an appointment unless a write-in candidate is elected. The board will discuss it during Monday’s meeting.

“Usually, when the board meets, they have to have discussion on who would be willing to serve and who they would like to appoint,” superintendent Bob Callaghan said.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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