The City of Newton announced “100 Signs of Progress” in the Newton community yesterday at the Newton Development Corporation’s Salute to Business and Industry. The announcement coincides with the four year anniversary of the passing of, “Newton’s Future: a Comprehensive Plan.”
“Four years ago, city officials and leaders recognized that Newton is well-positioned to rebound from the challenges of losing Maytag and also prosper in the immediate future,” said Natalie Umsted, Senior Analyst for the City of Newton, “This list of 100 Signs of Progress is evidence that business and community leaders have embraced this challenge and have gotten to work reinventing and reinvigorating the Newton community.”
The “Newton’s Future” plan uses an innovative approach to planning that goes beyond typical land-use planning seen in municipal government. Instead, the plan serves as both the official policy and strategic approach for future development and growth, and also serves as the plan for the entire community of Newton. “Newton’s Future” identifies goals and objectives that may be taken up by city officials, non-profit organizations, local businesses, or individuals. This innovative approach to planning has been recognized throughout the state as a model approach, with the plan being recognized as the “Project of the Year” by the Iowa City Manager’s Association in July 2014 and the “Grassroots Initiative of the Year” by the by the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter in October 2014.
Accomplishments highlighted on the list of “100 Signs of Progress” include NASCAR’s investment in Iowa Speedway, the establishment of the Friends of Newton Parks nonprofit organization, and several businesses that have opened in Newton in the past four years.