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The Rundown – City moves forward on South Kansas development

Post Date:03/27/2019 11:05 AM

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 26, 2019, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission took a step forward on an agreement with Occidental Management for a commercial development on South Kansas Avenue.

Occidental and the City have been in negotiations over development of the 80-acre tract since 2013. The development will be phased and will consist of general commercial along South Kansas, potentially followed by single- or multi-family residential along the north side of the parcel and professional offices along the south side.

For the first phase, a strip of small-lot commercial development along South Kansas, the City Commission directed City staff to draft an agreement that includes the following commitments by the City, as requested by Occidental:

  • Construct 300 feet of the southern street, Quail Creek Avenue, at an estimated cost of $315,650.
  • Purchase street right-of-way at $4 per square foot, for a total of $114,800.
  • Install a traffic signal at South Kansas and Quail Creek Avenue, at an estimated cost of $262,734.
  • Extend a water main along South Kansas, for a cost of $179,503.
  • Waive all City fees, including zoning, platting, permitting, inspection, etc., for an estimated $17,308.

The first phase is expected to generate $116,923 per year in property tax revenue for the City when fully developed.

In the future, as the development builds out and traffic increases, the City will have to consider additional improvements for traffic flow and safety, at a total cost of about $3.5 million:

  • Re-alignment of Wheatridge Drive on the east side of South Kansas.
  • Extension of Wheatridge on the west side of South Kansas.
  • Installation of a traffic signal at Wheatridge.
  • Additional purchases of street right-of-way.

Commissioners said they hoped to have a draft agreement to review within 30 days.

Community recognition

The Commission recognized Newton High School student-athletes who qualified and competed at State tournaments in wrestling and swimming.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Approved a request to close Main Street on May 4 for the Downtown Car Show.
  2. Approved a request to waive special event fees for the Paddle Battle at Sand Creek on May 11.
  3. Approved a special event application for the Farmers Market to be located in the parking lot at 320 N. Main.
  4. Approved a request to rezone two tracts of land at Southeast 14th Street and Logan, north of South Dillons. The southern portion was zoned as general commercial, and the northeastern portion (along 14th Street Connector) was zoned as multi-family residential.
  5. Awarded a contract to construct a drainage pond on Kansas Logistics Park property on East First Street to Unruh Excavating for $67,087.50.
  6. Approved an amendment to the City’s alcoholic beverage ordinances to be consistent with new state laws that permit cereal malt beverage retailers to sell full-strength beer.
  7. Approved participation in Kansas Department of Transportation’s Federal Fund Exchange Program for street maintenance.
  8. Released the development agreement with Broadway Hospitality, developers of the Holiday Inn Express.

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