The former Bank of America building soon may have a new owner, as city commissioners approved an agreement for a six-month option with Dewayne Pauls during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The former Bank of America building soon may have a new owner, as city commissioners approved an agreement for a six-month option with Dewayne Pauls during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Bob Myers, city attorney, said during the meeting, Pauls has several interested tenants for the building at 606 N. Main St. Pauls will pay the city $100 a month for each month he retains the option, which will expire July 31. If he chooses to purchase it, the cost will be $150,000.

The legal description of the property is all of lots 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 in Newton; however, the city will retain the two parking lots it purchased with the building.

The commission voted to purchase the vacant building for $250,000 in October. Bank of America moved to a new location on North Main Street in September 2004.

Myers said the proposal by Pauls is the only one that has been submitted to the city.

The city also approved an ordinance establishing stormwater pollution prevention regulations, with the permission for Myers and city engineer Suzanne Loomis to make technical changes, as Myers said some wording might need to be cleaned up in the document.

The city is in the fourth year of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Permit, and the city is required to fulfill obligations of the permit by Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations and federal requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency through the Clean Water Act.

The regulations deal with issues relating to construction and illicit discharge into the city's stormwater drainage system. Those receiving a building permit for construction on more than an acre will be required to submit a stormwater pollution prevention plan prepared by an engineer.

Those receiving a permit for less than an acre will not be required to have an engineer create a plan but will have to consult with city officials to determine what steps need to be taken to prevent stormwater pollution, such as dirt erosion or chemical runoff.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved an application by Karen Walton for a temporary permit to serve alcohol at a Valentine’s Day Dance at the American Legion. The event will be a fund-raiser for Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center.

Walton asked for a waiver of the fee, but Myers said the commission does not have the authority to waive the fee. Myers said if an organization is going to provide alcohol service on their own, they have to go through the state and the city commission.

• Approved a request from Youthville to close Main Street from Fifth to Seventh streets and Broadway east and west to the alley for the organization’s second-annual Chalk Art Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 30. The approval is subject to approval from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Youthville officials said the closure will alleviate congestion on the sidewalk and protect the safety of young children who may be coloring on the sidewalk and viewing the artwork.

The Chalk Art Festival will include live music and professional artists, as well as an opportunity for people to create sidewalk chalk art.

• Appointed Justin Hankins to the Electrical Advisory Board to fill an unexpired term. Hankins’ term will expire April 30, 2010.

• Heard from Virgil Penner, CEO of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce, who thanked the city workers who put up and took down the Christmas decorations downtown.

“It decorates the community, and I think the community appreciates it, and it also gives us a distinct characteristic,” Penner said.

• Heard from Will Tate, who works for Buyer’s Edge. Buyer’s Edge will host a Biz Expo on Feb. 12 at Memorial Hall at Bethel College.

• Heard from Randall Riggs, city manager, that the city has produced an “Outlook” newsletter, of which about 9,500 have been mailed Riggs said, and about 1,000 copies of a Spanish version will be distributed in the community.

• Announced the commission will have a work session at 5 p.m. Feb. 10.

• Conducted an executive session to discuss confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of a second party and preliminary acquisition of real property. After the session, the commission took no action.