City to consider Prestressed annexation

Chad Frey
Prestressed Concrete submitted a petition of annexation of 81 acres owned by the company to the city of Newton, after negotations with the city staff of both North Newton and Newton.

Whether or not the city of Newton will grant a controversial annexation request made by Prestressed Concrete Construction LLC will be decided Oct. 13.

The city commission will be asked to review an ordinance to bring properties owned by the company into the city. The company’s petition for annexation was received Sept. 22.

While part of Prestressed Construction Services, 2800 Old Highway 81, is within the city limits of Newton, not everything the company owns sits within those city limits. The property in question is 81 acres north of the main plant.

With a need of a domestic water supply, the company began working on securing that supply several months ago.

That work has led to discussions of annexation — and what city should and could annex the company.

North Newton expressed the interest in being that city on Sept. 22 during a meeting of the Newton City Commission.

“The only corridor for growth for North Newton is to the north and west of Anderson Street,” said North Newton Mayor Ron Braun. “North Newton has relied on the good faith expressed in the 1982 agreement with Newton on this very point. We trust Newton that they will continue to honor this commitment.”

At that meeting, Prestressed Concrete submitted a petition for the annexation of 81 acres into the city of Newton, which would join property owned by the company and already within the city of Newton.

The property they would like annexed sits to the north of what is already in the city limits.

“The annexation would lead to new jobs for the Newton community, revenue growth for both the city of Newton and Prestressed Concrete as well as consolidation of all the land that we own under one public entity,” said Chris Goevert, general manager of Prestressed Concrete.

The city of North Newton, however, does not want the city of Newton to annex the acreage.

“The history of this goes back to probably before 1976. There have been agreements established between the city of Newton and city of North Newton,” Braun said. “... We as two cities have had some understanding and working relationship on the area that is previously owned by Prestressed.”

For several months, Prestressed has been working on annexation, discussing annexation plans with both Newton and North Newton city staff.

According to Goevert, the company approached the city of Newton seeking a water supply for the existing facility — it was suggested by Newton city staff that the company reach out to North Newton for a domestic water supply due to the proximity of the plant. Discussions between the company and North Newton City staff included annexation into the city of North Newton.

Those discussions, according to Goevert, broke down and the company has chosen to seek annexation of the property with Newton instead.

Approving the annexation ordinance Oct. 13 will bring the Prestressed properties into the City of Newton and the annexation would be effective upon publication.

According to a memo prepared by City Attorney Chris Towle for the city commission, city staff is supportive of this annexation and reports that City services and utilities can be provided to the lots.

Because Prestressed Concrete has petitioned the City for annexation, there is no requirement to provide a plan for extension of service and the notice/public hearing required with unilateral annexation do not apply.