Park Aerospace, a company that develops and manufactures composite materials at the Newton City/County Airport, will be expanding. 

Both the Newton City Commission and Harvey County Commission approved agreements Dec. 17 to allow an expansion of Park's Newton campus to move forward. 

"This is ... potentially a doubling of the Park Aerospace's existing facility at the Newton City/County Airport," said Bob Myers, city manager for Newton. 

The expansion will include the construction of a redundant manufacturing facility located adjacent to Park's existing facilities. This renews redundant facility, which according to Park Aerospace is being constructed in part to support a major aerospace customer, will include approximately 90,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. It  will essentially double the size of Park's existing Newton facilities.

The total cost of the expansion is expected to be approximately $19 million, and the expansion is expected to be completed in the first half of the 2020 calendar year. Projections show the company adding 73 employees to the current roster of 90 over the course of 10 years. Projects show an estimated $21.3 million in wages paid to new employees over the next 10 years.  Construction is expected to begin within six months.

"They are especially anxious to get started," Myers said.

Myers said Monday that this project has been under discussion for about two years.

The expansion includes new mixing and delivery systems, new hot-melt film and tape manufacturing lines, space to accommodate an additional hot-melt tape line or solution treating line, space to accommodate a confidential joint development project with a major aerospace customer, additional slitting capability, significant additional freezer and storage space, an expanded production lab, a new R&D lab and additional office space.

Under the development agreement, the county will offer about $919,000 in incentives including tax abatement of about $878,000 over the course of 10 years. The city will offer about $1,3 million in incentives including a $1.2 million tax abatement over the course of 10 years. The city and county also agree not to charge land rents for Park's new facility, and to not charge rents on the existing facility, for 10 years. 

The city will also be expected to build a new drive entrance to handle truck traffic with the cost shared with the county, though the street required by Park will be paid for by Park.

The city will lease Park Aerospace an additional three acres of property just south of eight acres the company is currently using.

The airport will be asked to waive hangar fees for Park and its customers, and offer Park discounted fuel for planes used by the company.