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The Rundown – Hague selected as mayor for 2017

Post Date:01/11/2017 1:37 PM

The Rundown is prepared by the City of Newton Public Information Office to summarize the City Commission meeting and does not represent official Commission minutes.

7 p.m. January 10, 2017, Newton City Commission meeting

Barth HagueAt Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission followed its traditional reorganization, selecting Barth Hague as mayor and David A. Nygaard as vice mayor for the ensuing year. Hague thanked outgoing mayor Glen Davis for his service as mayor and for continually emphasizing teamwork among the Commissioners. Nygaard then presented Davis with a series of stuffed toy chickens, bees and monkeys in honor of the various animal control measures passed during Davis’s term as mayor.

Springlake Park restroom

The Commission approved plans and specifications for a permanent restroom facility at Springlake Splash Park. The splash park, which opened in 2010, was built without restroom facilities because it was expected to attract mostly children from the surrounding neighborhood. In reality the park has come to be a destination attraction for families throughout Newton and even Harvey County.

In the past couple of years, City staff have received complaints from neighbors that children have been relieving themselves behind privacy fences in the adjacent yards. As a temporary solution, the City installed a porta-potty at the park last summer, with a rental cost of $6,525. Commissioners agreed that a long-term solution made more sense. The permanent restroom will be a pre-cast, industrial-quality, one-toilet facility, with a construction cost of $31,731. It will be paid for with funds that the City Commission added to the 2017 Parks budget for capital improvements.

Community recognition

The Commission honored Newton Police Cpl. DeAnna Mowery for organizing a community gift drive called Operation Blue Christmas, and Officer Gary Littlejohn for spearheading a holiday food drive. The Police Department collected $6,500 worth of gifts that went to 44 children from 17 families, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for 36 area families. Guerilla Marketing and Regier Construction sponsored the meals, and Newton resident Tami Lakey helped with shopping.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Designated the Newton Kansan as the City’s official newspaper for the ensuing year. The Kansan and Newton Now both submitted bids of $5 per column inch for publication of the City’s legal notices. Staff recommended that the Kansan be chosen because it is published five days a week while Newton Now is weekly.
  2. Authorized expansion of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program boundaries to include three new properties: the EmberHope (Youthville) campus at 900 W. Broadway, the southeast corner of Southeast 14th and Pine, and the southeast corner of East 12th and Sherman. Inclusion in the program offers tax incentives for redevelopment of the property.
  3. Amended City ordinances pertaining to City elections, terms of elected officials and the City’s form of government, to be consistent with State statutes.
  4. Reviewed the Capital Improvement Program for Newton City/County Airport.
  5. Proclaimed 2017 as the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail.
  6. Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Billy Sims Barbecue.

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or