The Newton City Commission on Tuesday gave its OK for the purchase of about 6.1 acres on the east side of Kansas Avenue south of 24th Street on which the city will build a new fire/EMS station on the south side of town.

The commission, after its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, went into two executive sessions to discuss the acquisition.

Bob Myers, city attorney, said the asking price was about $212,000 for the property.

“The location is a good blend of what we’re looking for,” said Fire/EMS Chief Gary Denny. “The property will support a two-bay facility with 212 foot of (street) frontage.”

City officials now will work on closing the real estate deal. The property currently is owned by Lenny and Helen Wild.

The city decided to purchase the land ahead of having an architect design the building because of ever-escalating land prices.

Also at the meeting, Myers presented the commission with information about amending the quorum requirement ordinance.

The state has redefined quorum requirements to go into affect July 1, and Myers brought the same changes to the city commission for discussion.

The changes would change the number of commissioners needed to call a meeting to order from four to three. The state’s definition states a simple majority is needed for a quorum to be present. Since the city commission is a five-mem

ber board, the simple majority would be three members.

Commissioner Willis Heck asked about how the new quorum definition would change how ordinances were passed.

For city ordinances, three members must vote yes. If only three members of the commission are present and a vote is 2-1, the ordinance does not stand, Myers said. However, the ordinance can be brought back to the commissioners when more are present.

Along with the quorum number change, Myers suggested two other additions to the existing ordinance, one being that if a quorum was not present the two commissioners could decide to have informational reports given that required no action, if they could find the need for information to be presented at that time and not rescheduled.

The second suggestion Myers made was to make the new quorum requirements apply to all other city boards to which the city commission appoints members.

In other business, the city commission:

• Received budget requests from outside agencies — the 2009 Chisholm Trail Festival for $7,000; Health Ministries for $17,000, up $2,000 from 2008; Mid-CAP for $10,000 down $2,000 from 2008; Newton Area Senior Center for $10,000 and Newton Area Arts Council for $3,000.

• Received the Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau 2009 program of work.

• Approved support of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.

• Rejected all bids for the Magnolia bridge reconstruction project and moved to increase the engineers estimate and rebid the project.

• Approved offering LaFarge North American of Wichita the contract for the Boyd Street paving project for $441,297.50

• Approved offering Kansas Paving of Wichita the contract for mill and overlay on Old Main for $330,000.