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Finance Procurement Committee will meet to discuss future of local economy

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 11:50 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 11:51 a.m. CDT

The city’s Finance and Procurement committee will hear recommendations tonight on how to use the city’s surplus.

Any surplus that exceeds 25 percent of the ending fund balance at the end of the fiscal year may be used by the Newton City Council for a one-time expenditure. Tonight, city staff will recommend to the committee the council use the surplus of $294,530 for various projects. One would include renovations to the council chambers and atrium of Newton City Hall for $50,000. The staff is also recommending $40,000 in exterior improvements to city hall. The council also will use $6,300 to cover budget shortfalls in the 2014 budget.

The committee also will hear a recommendation for a non-budgeted expenditure to retain Buxton Company to perform a retail analysis for Newton. Buxton Co. specializes in retail reports that help municipalities bring developers to their area. According to the recommendation, Buxton Co. prepared a report for Indianola, and the city has since generated approximately $3 million in development as a result of the report.

City staff is recommending the analysis report because job growth is a key part of the comprehensive plan.

“Again, a high priority for the city is to bring young families and young professionals to the community,” the recommendation states. “Our housing initiative will only be a beginning for this enduring effort.”

If approved, the analysis report will cost the city at least $65,000, not including implementation costs. Fifty thousand dollars of the expense will be paid for with the surplus.

“This expertise is not inexpensive,” the recommendation states. “While the returns are huge, it is a large investment.”

The committee also will:

• Discuss and approve funding and construction of a bridge at Westwood Golf Course.

• Discuss the TIF Process, specifically for Fountain Hills and downtown.

• Consider the expenditure for “non-budgeted items” resulting from positive ending Fund Balance from Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at dhon@newtondailynews.com.

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