A logistics park is a hub for companies to manage the flow of their goods and resources. The park in Newton will be about making things, storing things and shipping things out.
The park will be located just southeast of the existing Newton Industrial Park on Spencer Road.
Officials are working quickly to take advantage of national trends. In the next year, the U.S. is going to experience a “wind rush.” States are setting new energy standards, and the federal government is making it very attractive for companies to invest in wind energy.
Many large companies are already seeking sites for new facilities to serve the wind energy demand. Newton is in a race with other cities and states to secure those companies.
Fortunately, Newton is uniquely positioned to take advantage of what’s happening:
- Kansas is the #3 state for wind energy potential.
- Newton’s transportation assets are perfect for logistics: rail access, including short-line rail, U.S. 50, and I-135.
- Newton is close to a major manufacturing region but is located in a large, open, uncongested area.
Gov. Mark Parkinson has said that taking advantage of Kansas’ wind potential is one of his top priorities and that he envisions Wichita to Salina as a renewable energy corridor, with facilities throughout the state. Kansas wind could become a major export and bring millions of dollars into the state.
New wind energy companies would bring hundreds of new jobs to Newton – jobs that would more than make up for the recent layoffs in the area, plus bring in workers from outside Newton.
New jobs equates to more money in the local economy, new houses, restaurants and shopping, plus revenue for local government, which will help keep tax rates low.
Some of the companies will also be large water users, helping spread the cost burden of water rates.
To make the expansion a reality, the City and County will need to invest in the basic infrastructure needed (water, sewer, streets). Newton has already lost out on some companies because the basics are not in place and the projects are on tight timelines.
Wind energy is the catalyst to move quickly on this logistics park, but even without it, logistics will still provide a long-term business model. Goods and supplies will always have to be managed and shipped. The ag industry, for example, has been looking into logistics for some time.