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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Newton takes step in annexing airport

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  • ?The city of Newton is a step closer to annexing the City-County Airport.?At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Newton City Commissioners approved an agreement with Professional Engineering Consultants of Wichita for the design of a city water main extension to the airport. It was an initial step in an annexation plan the city and county have been discussing for quite some time.?“This process started a little over five years ago,” City Attorney Bob Myers said.?Suzanne Loomis, city engineer/director of public works, said the city and county agreed in 2007 to allow the city to eventually annex the airport, after Park Aerospace decided to develop at the airport.?The city already has extended a sanitary sewer to the airport so failing sewer lagoons could be closed out, and Loomis said now it is time to extend a city water main to the airport, as well.?The city will be taking over from current service provider Harvey County Rural Water District No. 1, which has a line along First Street. The Rural Water District would like to go back to focusing on rural customers.?The city will need to connect to a recently completed booster station that will provide needed pressure from the city system to airport customers. A line also will need to be constructed along Airport Road (Oliver) from First Street up to the airport internal water supply system.?Loomis said the city wanted to take over as the airport’s water service supplier to ensure the airport would have a large enough supply of water with the appropriate quality.?According to a report from Loomis, the Rural Water District only chlorinates at the well head, and this could create some complications for businesses who require a specific quality of water without hardness or corrosive qualities.?Loomis said the airport likely will keep expanding in the future, and the city wants to make sure businesses have access to the resources they need.?“It’s evident that our airport is continuing to grow,” she said. “We’re having a lot of interest in additional development out there.”?City commissioners will address the next steps in the annexation process at future commission meetings. Before construction can begin on the water main project, city commissioners will have to approve project budget numbers and plans and specifications.

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