The City of Newton recently received the Program of the Year award from the Iowa City Manager’s Association for the city’s work on the implementation of Newton’s Future: A Comprehensive Plan.
IaCMA’s annual awards program honors creative contributions to professional local government management and increases public awareness of the value of professional management to the quality of life. The Program of the Year Award is presented to a local government and its chief administrator in recognition of an innovative and successful program.
“I am very proud of the community’s work on the development and implementation of the comprehensive plan,” Newton Director of Planning and Zoning Erin Chambers said. “Receiving this award helps send a message to the rest of the state that we in Newton already known — Newton’s future shines bright!”
Newton’s Future is a unique approach to comprehensive planning and is clearly different from run-of-the-mill land use focused comprehensive plans. The plan serves as not only the City of Newton’s official policy and strategic approach for future development and growth, but it has also been designed to be the plan for the whole community of Newton, offering a clear checklist of “things to do” to make Newton a great place to call home.
Newton’s Future was created through a collaborative community process and was adopted by Newton City Council in October 2012. Following the plan’s adoption, the Steering Committee which oversaw the development of Newton’s Future transformed into Implementing Newton’s Future, a citizen advisory group which helped identify initial projects from the comprehensive plan to tackle.
Newton’s Future has been widely supported by the Newton community, and a number of projects, or rather “things to do” are currently being implemented. Comprehensive plan projects under way include a dilapidated building demolitions program, a new marketing campaign for the community (Get To Know Newton) and Newton’s application to and subsequent acceptance into the Main Street Iowa program, among many other projects.
To find out more about Newton’s Future, and to read a full list of comprehensive plan projects underway, visit www.newtongov.org.