February 27, 2024

Special event application sees welcomed changes

City shortens form and makes other requirements easier to manage

The Marshall Tucker Band performs during the inaugural Wild Cat Country Fest on June 18 in downtown Newton.

The Newton City Council on June 19 approved changes to the special event application in order to make it easier for individuals or groups to apply.

According to city documents, duplications were removed from the application, which reduced it from 14 pages to three pages. Guidelines were separated from the application to become a standalone document. Signature requirements and temporary no parking consent requirements were also removed.

The communication plan was also amended to require only one email — as opposed to two emails — to notify neighboring businesses. Council member Vicki Wade and city administrator Matt Muckler clarified that business groups were invited to contribute to the process of revising the application.

“We shared it with about five different people that all represent businesses, so Main Street, Chamber (of Commerce), (Destination Newton Alliance). The school district is a frequent applicant, so we shared it with them,” Muckler said, noting Nostalgia Wine & Spirits also reached out. “…I did receive feedback.”

If an event is going to be taking place near a business, Muckler said those adjacent businesses will be contacted by email from the event organizer. And those signatures from complying businesses would no longer be needed. Muckler said there is a different set of rules when it comes to block parties.

“For block parties, the signature requirements would stay in place,” Muckler said. “This would only apply to special events, which typically involve 200 or more people or involve street closures.”

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.