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City looking at east corridor for development

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:54 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 10:23 a.m. CDT
(Jamee A. Pierson/Daily News)
To better market the I-80 exit 168 corridor, the city is looking to develop a master plan concept for the commercial land in the area.

A proposal to develop a master plan concept for the commercial land around the I-80 exit 168 corridor will go before city council on Monday. The council will also review an agreement with Weekend Pitstop Inc. to host Thunder Nites on the Newton square this summer and several parking changes throughout the city.

The city has been attempting to draw additional growth to the area around the eastern Newton exit and found commercial enterprises are more likely to consider an area for potential development when aided by a professionally prepared Master Land Use Concept Plan.

Three urban plan consultants were contacted for requests for proposal with RDG Planning and Design of Omaha providing the most comprehensive and cost-effective proposal for the project. The proposed cost of the work is $16,900 to be paid for from the Speedway-Prairie Fire TIF District funds.

Council will also look to approve an event agreement with Weekend Pitstop to host Thunder Nites on the second Friday of the month May through September in downtown Newton. According to Weekend Pitstop, insurance safeguards have been placed in the contract to safeguard the interest of the city.

Thunder Nites will have musical entertainment, attractions and family events on the square for residents and visitors to enjoy. The event is going into its seventh year with minimal law enforcement and safety issues arising, according to Weekend Pitstop.

The first reading of four ordinances will go before the council addressing parking changes throughout Newton. Area including street parking in the 300 and 800 block of North Third Avenue West, 1300 block of Crescent Drive, West Fourth Street North from North Seventh Avenue West to the north city limits and the 800 to 1300 block of East 14th Street South have various concerns that look to be addressed.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com