Occidental project hits snag at Newton City Commission

A proposed commercial, office and mixed-use development was back in front of the Newton City Commission this week, the result of meetings between city administrative staff and Occidental Management.

Occidental Management’s intended development is for a $70 million complex on an 80-acre property along South Kansas Ave. – south of Orscheln Farm and Home and Arby’s. The developers have owned the property for more than three years. This year Occidental asked about creating a “tiff like” district — diverting new property taxes generated by the property to help developers pay for infrastructure and construction. That proposal has not gained much traction.

“It would involve the city, the county and school district being willing to forgo some of their tax revenues of the project,” said Bob Myers, city manager for Newton. ”… The feedback we provide to them was there was some uncertainty about if the county and school board would be willing to do that.”

Two city commissioners, Glen Davis and Barth Hague, both said this week based on conversations they have had with county commissioners, they do not believe the county would move forward with that.

(Read more: Newton Kansan)