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The Rundown - Commission vacates street right-of-way

Post Date:03/16/2017

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. March 14, 2017, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday’s meeting, the City Commission approved a real estate agreement to dispose of city-owned property in the Enns Subdivision. A property owner had requested the city vacate the right-of-way for a portion of Southeast 8th Street that abuts his property. Staff research revealed the city has fee simple ownership of the property. The commission voted 4-0 to sell the property for $1, with buyer paying closing costs. Commissioner Kathy Valentine recused herself from the vote because the buyer is her employer.

Federal Fund Exchange Program

The City Commission voted unanimously to enter a Federal Fund Exchange Program agreement with the Department of Transportation in which Newton will receive approximately $198,000 for local projects. Projects considered for use of the funds are additional improvements to South Kansas Avenue and the annual overlay program.

New police protective equipment

Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy and Deputy Chief Craig Dunlavy showed commissioners two new types of protective gear purchased for department use. Law enforcement realized deficiencies in equipment after the shooting at Excel Industries in 2016. As a result, 38 rifle-rated vests were purchased for $14,000 to equip all of the department’s officers and two ballistic shields were purchased for a total of $10,000 for general department use. The $24,000 expenditure was made using donations and funds from drug asset forfeiture.

Community Council on Police Facilities

Mayor Barth Hague announced the members of the new Community Council on Police Facilities. The group is tasked with making a recommendation to the City Commission about the best approach to addressing law enforcement facility needs. Tom Williams will serve as chairman. Members are Mary Beck, Chip Bungard, Jennifer Hamm, Barbara Lee, Rod Nicholson, Sue Meacham and Jaime Ontiveros. Leroy Koehn will serve as the commission’s liaison.

Community recognitions

Recognize Todd Tangeman as the recipient of the Greater Wichita YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award. Greater Wichita YMCA Board President Steve Cox praised Tangeman’s dedication to establishing the Newton YMCA branch.

Recognize USD 373 Board of Education member Steve Richards for being selected to the Kansas Association of School Boards’ “Leadership For Tomorrow” class of 2017. Superintendent Deb Hamm said participation in the group will allow Richards to observe programs in schools across the state.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Set a work session for 4 p.m. Thursday, March 16, to hear a report on a cost-benefit analysis from Springsted on Occidental Management’s proposed development on South Kansas Avenue.
  2. Approved a request to close East Fifth Street from Main to east of the first parking lot entrance on April 1 for a food truck rally and approved a temporary alcoholic liquor permit for the event.
  3. Approved a request to close the entrance to Centennial Dog Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 13 for Bark in the Park.
  4. Received the Newton Public Library’s annual report.
  5. Approved new drainage design criteria.
  6. Appointed Alejandra Munoz to the Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau Advisory Board to represent Comfort Inn.
  7. Tabled discussion of a lease agreement with Enterprise Holding.
  8. For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or