The southeast corner of the Highway 14 and Interstate 80 interchange in Newton may soon be vacant ground. This coming Monday night the Newton City Council will consider a recommendation from City Staff to buy the Newton Inn, which currently located there, and tear it down. The proposed purchase price is 495-thousand dollars. BJM Hotels Incorporated owns the 2-story motel. City Staff says one of the largest economic development challenges to gaining interest from hotel developers is vacancy rates. Lower quality hotels and motels have higher vacancy rates, so staff believes having the Newton Inn no longer operating would make the city more attractive to a new hotel/motel developer and improve the look of a main entrance to town. To pay for the acquisition and demolition, the City would borrow money from the Water Pollution Control Fund and the General Fund. Those funds would then be paid back with bond revenue the City will receive this coming spring. The City Council meeting next Monday night will begin at 6pm.
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