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The Rundown – City begins discussions about municipal pool

Post Date:10/25/2017 4:05 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. Oct. 24, 2017, Newton City Commission meeting

At work session before Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission met with the Newton Recreation Commission to begin discussions about the future of the municipal pool.

The pool, which is owned by the City and operated by the Rec Commission, is aging and has a number of major maintenance issues to address in the near future. City staff presented a series of options for Commissioners to consider, along with very rough cost projections. Commissioners expressed interest in exploring variations on these options:

  • Leave the existing pool as is and complete the needed maintenance and mechanical repairs, with a rough cost of $186,800.
  • Demolish the existing pool and build a new, more modern pool with some new aquatics features, at a rough cost of $3 million.
  • Demolish the existing pool and build a new aquatics park with many new features, at a rough cost of $6 million.

Commissioners asked staff to come back with more specifics on those options, including more refined cost estimates and details about what new features might be considered. Commissioners agreed that they would not rush into a decision and would seek out multiple opportunities for the public to give input throughout the process.

Community recognition

Later Tuesday, the Commission recognized Newton High School students Lauren Mitchell and Katherine Szambecki, who received Commended Student awards from the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by placing among the top 3 percent of students nationwide on the Preliminary SAT.

The Commission also recognized City employee Cathy Rankin, who has worked as a 911 dispatcher at the Harvey County Communications Center for 40 years. Cathy recently received the Presidential Award from the Kansas Chapter of the Association for Public Safety Communication Officials.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Awarded a contract for painting of the Warkentin House Museum to Sutherland Builders for $124,480.
  2. Declared that an immediate hazard exists at the residence at 527 E. 11th St. after two fires in recent years and inadequate attempts to repair the structural damage. There is no water or electrical service at the home. Commissioners directed staff to barricade the property and permit no one on the premises other than to do permitted repairs or demolition.
  3. Set a hearing for Nov. 14 on three amendments to the 2017 budget.
  4. Approved a request to close Main Street on Dec. 7 for the Lions Club Parade of Lights.
  5. Approved a request to close Athletic Park Circle and the pool parking lot on Nov. 25 for the State 8-Man Football Championships.
  6. Approved a request to close West Sixth Street on Oct. 29 for the grand opening of Jimmy & Nikki’s Game Room.
  7. Authorized the mayor to provide a letter of support to Health Ministries for their application for continued federal funding.
  8. Approved updates to the City’s construction specification standards for water, sewer, paving and drainage.

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

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