NEWTON — With recent rains hitting all of the area, the Newton City Council discussed applying for grants that could help shore up the city’s wetness.
Mayor Mark Bolander said Newton has recently been declared a “federal disaster area” because of the last two weeks of rain and the city’s may be able to use the opportunity to apply for further grants similar to the ones they applied for in 2008 under the IKE Project.
“We had a hazard mitigation plan and that may make us eligible for more grant money,” he said. “Perhaps we can do better because it’s obvious we can do more.”
Problems with rain have affected many Newton residents and council member Robert Reisner said he hopes residents know help will come.
“We’re having some terrific rains and some people out there are having some problems,” he said. “We’re going to help out when and if it ever dries up. I just want to let people know that we’ll be there.”
The council unanimously approved of the purchase of a vehicle for the police department’s incoming canine. The vehicle was purchased for just under $27,600. The canine would be shared with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and council member Larry Ford said the resource is usually used by other departments without cost.
“It’s a mutual aid thing,” he said.
The council also approved of continuing to search for grants for city improvement through Milano & Grunloh Engineers. The council approved applying for a $1.25 million grant, though Bolander said it shouldn’t necessarily expect that much money to come in.
“They told us to shoot for the moon and try to get whatever we can get,” he said.
The council also officially approved pledging $1,000 a year for the next three years to finance the CEO Class in Jasper County. The city council would be partnering with Jasper County School District, JEDI and Jasper County to fund the class.
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or firstname.lastname@example.org.