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The Rundown – City pursuing land acquisition for new water tank

Post Date:09/13/2017 5:27 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. Sept. 12, 2017, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission initiated condemnation proceedings for property to construct a new ground-level water storage tank and an access easement.

The property is just south of West First Street along Sand Creek, southwest of the City’s existing water tank. Negotiations with the property owners, BNSF Railroad and VAE Nortrak, have stalled, and it is hoped that initiating condemnation will help spur a purchase deal.

The existing 3.8 million-gallon water tank stores all of Newton’s drinking water before it is pumped to the City’s four elevated water towers. The storage tank, which was built in 1939, is now severely deteriorated and must be replaced. The plan is to build one 1.9 million-gallon tank on the new piece of land before demolishing the existing tank and replacing it with a second 1.9 million-gallon tank. This will allow for one tank to be taken down for maintenance and still leave the community with a steady water supply.

The cost of the new tanks, including the land acquisition, is estimated at $3.1 million. The City will pursue a low-interest loan from the State of Kansas, with loan payments to be made from water utility revenues.

Community recognition

The Commission also recognized Firefighter/EMT Mike Estep, who recently returned from a deployment to Texas to help with search and rescue operations after Hurricane Harvey. Estep described the deployment as a rewarding and humbling experience.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Approved a request to close Athletic Park Circle on Oct. 28 for the 5K Monster Dash/Fun Run.
  2. Approved a request to close the Athletic Park band shell area and west parking lot on Oct. 7 for Blues, Brews & BBQ, as well as use of snow fencing, picnic tables and trash cans.
  3. Proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week.
  4. Adopted Jan. 1, 2018, as the effective date of the City’s new Special Events Policy.
  5. Reviewed an application for a 2017 federal Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to purchase portable radios for the County Drug Task Force.
  6. Appointed Dan Harder to the Building Code Board of Examiners & Appeals and Jonah Gerhing to the Electrical Board.

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