The Newton City Council approved a new redevelopment agreement for a proposed 70-million dollar racetrack last night that includes several million dollars in city investment. Ron Foreman was the only councilmember to vote against the project. He says he’s had several people come up to him and say, “With Maytag the way it is, we need this track to ‘Save the Day.’ But, Foreman says he wants people to understand that the city general fund will receive no money from the racetrack until 2006. Councilman D-J Julius says it’s a project that meets his main criteria. He says, “My goal in all this was to not raise city property taxes. I am a hundred percent confident that with the financing that’s been talked about here, that we will not raise property taxes.” Former Mayor David Aldridge help get the project started five years ago. He says,”this is an economic opportunity that probably every city in the State of Iowa and all the states surrounding us would like a crack at.”The development agreement includes a one-point-three million dollar city grant to the developers to purchase the site, and a two-million dollar city economic development grant for construction costs. The city will also have to invest eight to 10 million dollars in road and infrastructure work. The city administrator says they expect to get a grant from the state for the project. The redevelopment agreement calls for the project to be completed before the end of next year.
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