Fireworks will be legal for discharge and sale from June 30 through July 4 in 2011, the Newton City Commission decided Tuesday night.


Fireworks will be legal for discharge and sale from June 30 through July 4 in 2011, the Newton City Commission decided Tuesday night.
The commission sets dates and times when sale and discharge of fireworks will be allowed in advance to allow vendors to plan accordingly.
One concern for commissioners was allowing the sale of fireworks on June 30, one day before they can be legally used in areas outside of the city limits. The Harvey County Commission adopted an ordinance earlier this year that allows for discharge of fireworks from July 1 through 4 in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Under the ordinance approved by the city, fireworks may be used within Newton city limits between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. June 30 through July 3 and 7 a.m. to midnight on July 4. Fireworks only may be sold by city-licensed vendors, as in previous years.
Last year, the city sold 10 permits for fireworks vendors, up from eight the previous year, said city clerk Denise Duerksen. The vendor permits cost $2,500 each.

Logistics Park

Commissioners also approved further progress on annexation of land for the  Kansas Logistics Park for private development and improvements to public utilities.
Two parcels of land in the area of Southeast 12th Street and Hillside Road were re-zoned as industrial property and annexed by the city.
The annexation is part of a long process of land acquisition the city has been pursuing for the Logistics Park for several months.
Completion of the annexation and rezoning allows the city to move forward with road and drainage improvements in the area.

Conference center

The commission voted to approve the issuance of bonds to pay for the city’s new conference center and to cover funds the city has pledged to finance the building of a privately owned hotel being developed next door to the conference center.
Newton will issue $3.25 million of tax increment financing bonds in November to cover costs to build and develop the conference center. City officials expect the cost will be recuperated through tax income generated by the Holiday Inn Express that will be adjacent to the conference center and two other commercial properties on site.
The commission also agreed to issue $2 million in general obligation bonds to fund a loan to the developers of the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel developers also have other loans to fund the construction of the hotel, which is expected to open shortly after the conference center next summer. The cost of the bonds is expected to be covered by the hotel developers.