More than $2.5 million in General Obligation Loans will be used to continue city improvements and essential work in Newton, according to city officials. City council approved loans for the North Central Urban Renewal Area and Speedway/Prairie Fire Urban Renewal Area following a public hearing on Monday.
The largest portion of funds goes to the Hotel Maytag loan agreement. It is not to exceed $1.18 million and will be used to support the Hotel Maytag redevelopment project. Hotel Maytag Investors, led by Hatch Development Group, is working to restore the landmark structure in downtown Newton through a complete renovation adding 22 market-rate apartments, 23 units designated as affordable for households at or below 60 percent of the median income for Jasper County, a variety of commercial spaces and the restoration of the ballroom on the second floor.
An allotment not to exceed $980,000 for an Urban Renewal loan agreement will be used to fund improvements to the DMACC Newton campus facilities; heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements at the Newton Public Library and to fund grants to promote the development of second story housing in the downtown area.
Councilman Jeff Price requested the breakdown of the funds in this loan agreement between the three entities and, more specifically, the DMACC facility.
“I looked through the last couple of packets, and I don’t remember seeing anything itemized of dollar amounts committed,” Price said. “I was just curious why we are taking care of these properties as well, how does the funding for DMACC (projects) translate to us (the city.)”
City administrator Matt Muckler said $55,000 will be used for the library improvements, $100,000 will make up the grant funds for the development of second story housing in downtown and the bulk of the money, $825,000, will go to DMACC for facility improvements.
“Per our 28E agreement (with DMACC), we had a commitment of $1.5 million in capital improvements,” Muckler said. “We have a chiller that needs to be replaced, a security system we are going to take care of and roofing improvements.”
The DMACC Newton Campus is continuing improvements to the facilities and ongoing work to refurbish the former Maytag facility for future use.
Located in the Speedway/Prairie Fire Urban Renewal Area, funds for work on Lincoln Street is set to not exceed $360,000. Formerly a gravel road, the now paved roadway runs north and south on the east side of the speedway and is frequently used during race weekends.
Even with the addition of the loans, the city’s current debt service levy will not increase, Muckler said.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org