City of Newton’s future is certain

City of Newton’s future is certain
Date April 03, 2006
Section(s) Columnists

Newton Development Corp.

The events of the last week and a half have created more certainty for Newton’s economic future than it has experienced for quite some time. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that it would not oppose the merger of the Maytag Corporation with the Whirlpool Corporation. The announcement and the subsequent closure of the merger on Friday ended almost a year of speculation on the future of the appliance company. The Newton Development Corporation is pleased that the transaction has proceeded. We stand ready to do whatever we can to welcome the Whirlpool Corporation to Newton.

We believe in Newton and the positive business environment that exists in our community. In February, we had a brief opportunity to share with Whirlpool leadership the reasons we believe in Newton. Now with the merger complete, we look forward to showing Whirlpool how our community and skilled work force helped build an internationally known brand for quality and dependability. This same positive business environment and skilled workforce is why other large companies and corporations are choosing to invest in Newton.

A week ago Friday, the Newton Development Corporation announced that Skjodt Thomas & Associates of Indianapolis, Ind., had entered into a purchase agreement to acquire approximately 85 acres on the southwest corner of Interstate 80 Exit 168. Skjodt Thomas will act as master developer on the site that will include a 300 room hotel/waterpark and conference center, a national retailer and the development of 15-20 out lots for nationally franchised restaurants. Furthermore, Love’s Corporation of Oklahoma City, Okla., has made application for the necessary permits to open its first Iowa travel center at Exit 168. The total investment in the community from these two developments alone could top $80 million. Add to these investments, the multi-million dollar investments in the Iowa Speedway and in the new biodiesel plant and you begin to understand why we believe so strongly in Newton’s future.

The Newton Development Corporation is a private, not-for-profit organization made up of Newton business leaders many in the manufacturing business too. We are acutely aware of the impact of globalization and the pressure it creates for manufacturers like Whirlpool. Therefore, we expect that there may be some tough decisions made as a consequence of this merger. Nevertheless, we know that whatever the long-term decisions with the Maytag headquarters and plant will be, the community will pull together and continue to grow and thrive.

The community demonstrated their solidarity and foresight last Tuesday when it overwhelmingly supported the adoption of the local option tax on sales and services. The new revenue source will lower property taxes, reinstate city services, and help us continue to make meaningful investments in economic development.Newton’s positive business environment will get only stronger as a result.

It is with this positive momentum and vibrant economic growth that we welcome the Whirlpool Corporation to our home.We sincerely believe that you will find that our community is unlike any other community that you have entered. We think that you will find many compelling business reasons as to why you will want to continue to have a presence in Newton. What other community are you located in that would promise to invest in its children the resources needed to give each one of them a 4-year tuition scholarship to attend college and has the tenacity to get it done?

Welcome Whirlpool … we saved a place for you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: