The holiday season just got a lot merrier for the city of Newton. At a press conference today (Monday), Mayor Chaz Allen announced the city’s gotten a commitment for financing of the Newton Racetrack, from Manaco, the parent company of construction firm Manatts.

Allen says “With funds secured through Wells Fargo bank, Manaco is committed to providing the funding necessary to complete the construction of the Iowa Speedway.” He adds that Manaco’s willing to enter a construction-guarantee agreement with the city. The letter gives the city the go-ahead for infrastructure projects for the Speedway. Mayor Allen says the letter lets the city forward to move ahead and hold the bid process for building the Rusty Wallace Drive and other city-provided infrastructure related to the speedway project.

Newton City Administrator Dave Schornack says it’s good news for the City, but there are still some details that need to be addressed There will have to be a “commitment letter” from lender Wells Fargo and a loan-guarantee argeement signed. It’s a big step, he says. Schornack says he sees no problems in receiving the documents in a timely fashion. Councilman Jim Greive is pleased with the announcement. He an other council members pushed to get proof of financing before spending any more taxpayer dollars on the project.

Greive says he’s “not going to put the people out there, paying a lot of money for something they’re not going to get.” He says his responsibility is to make sure everything’s in order before he gives his approval, but adds when the time comes he’ll be “standing up waving the red flag, because I think it’s time to go.” The mayor says he thinks the city council will approve starting that bid process at its meeting one week from today. (on Monday, December 19)