Three things that happened at Newton city commission
1. Passed a budget
The commission approved the 2022 budget. The budget will keep the mill levy flat for the fourth consecutive year, while collecting more revenues that previous years.
The budget will be set at an estimated 62.535 mills and authorizes $8.1 million in expenses. This is the fourth consecutive year the city mill levy has been set at 62.535.
Despite keeping the mill levy steady, the city hosted an extra public hearing for the proposed budget this year due to new requirements by the state legislature. This is due to senate bill 13 which established a "revenue neutral rate;"
Staying at the revenue neutral rate would have lowered the mill levy about .6 mills due to increased evaluations in the city. Overall, city evaluations increased 1.5 percent.
2. Created a home improvement rebate program
The commission approved a program that will rebate up 50% of the cost of materials, with a cap of $1,000, for painting or guttering work on homes within the Neighborhood Revitalization Program boundaries.
If there is a waiting list, priority will go to those an a main arterial, Main, 1st or Broadway, owner occupied homes, historic homes, low income homeowners, senior citizens, and 1st time homebuyers.
3. Approved a maintenance agreement for the law enforcement center
The Law Enforcement Center, 120 E. Seventh, houses the Newton Police Department, Harvey County Sheriff's Department, Harvey County Emergency Management and Harvey County 911 Communications.
The City and County administrations created an agreement that spells out the maintenance requirements for each entity that includes who is responsible for general cleaning and maintence for different sections of the building..
Cleaning and general maintenance will be at the responsibility of the entity occupying the space. HVAC maintenance costs, utilities will be split based upon the square footage occupied by each entity, with common areas occupied by both the city and county split evenly. The Agreement further spells out the parking areas for which the city and county are responsible.