The Rundown – City begins land sale talks with roofing manufacturer » 4State News MO AR KS OK

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The Rundown is prepared by the City of Newton Public Information Office to summarize the City Commission meeting and does not represent official Commission minutes.

7 p.m. July 27, 2021, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission approved a Letter of Intent to sell approximately 230 acres of land to GAF Materials Corp. for a new roofing shingles manufacturing facility.

The property at Southeast 12th and Hillside has been owned by Tindall Corp. since 2011, but the company’s plans to build a manufacturing plant for wind turbine bases never came to fruition. Tindall has allowed the City and Harvey County Economic Development to market the property to other prospects in recent years, and the City obtained an option earlier this summer to purchase the property back from Tindall for its original price, $1.18 million.

The Letter of Intent with GAF Materials is a good-faith statement to negotiate a formal sales agreement. The letter states that GAF will purchase the property from the City at $8,000 per acre, or approximately $1.8 million.

GAF will draft a sales agreement within 15 days, and the parties intend to execute the agreement within 30 days following. GAF will have 120 days to inspect the property and complete their due diligence. The City will maintain an option to repurchase the property if the company does not begin the project within three years.

New Jersey-based GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, with more than two dozen manufacturing plants in the United States. Harvey County Economic Development worked closely with the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Greater Wichita Partnership during the company’s nationwide search for its new site.

COVID grant funds

The Commission approved a grant agreement with the Kansas Department of Commerce for $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID-3 funds. The City will distribute the money in grants to local small businesses that retained jobs for low to moderate-income people through the pandemic. The money can be used for working capital such as wages, utilities, rent and inventory. In the coming weeks, the City will be releasing information about how businesses can apply.

Yard of the Year

The Commission presented the 2021 Yard of the Year award to Kurt and Shelly Riffel at 523 W. Ninth St. Out of 11 nominated yards, the Riffels’ property ranked especially high in curb appeal, good use of perennials, and use of focal points. The Riffels’ yard uses rustic antiques, including a 1934 Ford pickup truck, as decorative focal points among the plantings.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Authorized the creation of a Rural Housing Incentive District for development of Cottonwood Crossing Phase II multi-family housing addition, and authorized the City to partner with developer Building Kansas LLC to apply for a Kansas Moderate Income Housing grant.
  2. Approved repairs to ceiling cracks in the parlor at the Warkentin House. The museum is owned by the City and operated by the nonprofit Warkentin House Association, which is planning a fundraiser to pay for the $8,600 project.
  3. Amended the ordinance on the use of firearms in the city to include the requirement of a federal permit for the taking of migratory birds.
  4. Appointed Gloria Arellano to the Harvey/McPherson Counties Community Advisory Corrections Board.
  5. Received the second quarter financial report.

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or emcdaniel@newtonkansas.com.

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