Newton, North Newton reach water and sewer agreement

Chad Frey
In 2015, North Newton severed ties with Newton for the processing of wastewater, choosing to send sewage to Hesston instead. North Newton needs an emergency backup for some situations, like the flooding of 2019. The two cities came to an agreement for that this week.

North Newton began sending sewage to Hesston for treatment in 2015, severing a longtime tie between the two municipalities. While Newton and North Newton have not had a binding contract for wastewater treatment since 2015, the connection at Main Street near the cities’ boundary line has remained open.

In the case of an emergency, which the city of North Newton experienced during the flooding of 2019, Newton will now be an option for North Newton.

“The intent of that agreement is for Newton to be a backup,” said Chris Towle, attorney for the city of Newton.

The agreement sets rates for how much North Newton will have to pay in the event it needs to send sewage to the Newton wastewater treatment plant and sets a cap of $50,000 per month.

“That would be a worst-case scenario for them,” Towle said. “It is not the intent that it would go on for several months.”

Under the agreement, North Newton will provide $40,000 to Newton for the 2019 discharges.

The city of Newton also approved an agreement for water sharing, should the need arise, between the two cities.

In other business, the commission:

• Declared Oct. 4-10 as Fire Prevention Week in Newton.

• Approved the issuance of bonds for several projects, along with refinancing a pair of bond issues. Refunded two bond series, more than $7 million in bonds. Four projects in Rolling Hills Sixth Addition, other projects include a water project for the airport, renovations to the law enforcement center, and sewer improvements. The city plans to refinance two bond issues, one for $2.7 and the other for $2.8 million in an attempt to save interest payments. The city believes that more than $300,000 on the first series of bonds, and $301,000 on the second series.

• Approved a roof replacement project at the Newton City/County Airport to replace roof structures over both Hangar J and K and set a bid date for the project of Sept. 29.

• Heard a request for the annexation of 81 acres owned by Prestressed Concrete by request of the company. The operating plant is currently in the city of Newton. The company is asking for the city to annex additional property.

• Received an updated interlocal agreement for the public building commission that would add the Newton Municipal Pool as an acceptable project for the PBC. The Public Building Commission is jointly funded by the city of Newton, Newton Recreation Commission and Newton USD 373. The commission approved a motion to have staff draft a letter to the NRC and USD 373 recommending passage of the updated agreement.