The Newton City Council has approved a resolution authorizing the city’s application for a grant through the Iowa Reinvestment Act.

The program, overseen by Iowa Economic Development, allows cities to create special districts where money from sales and hotel-motel taxes can be set aside to help pay for projects that spur economic development.

The city of Newton, in conjunction with Des Moines Area Community College and Legacy Plaza LLC, would create a special investment district that stretches from downtown to the former Maytag corporate campus, now known as Legacy Plaza. The former Maytag campus was donated to DMACC in 2016. The 14-acre parcel, which is adjacent to DMACC’s Newton campus, now has several tenants.

DMACC, working with OPN Architects, has developed a more detailed plan for the area that includes entertainment, dining and cultural elements and a pedestrian mall. The city, if it receives money from the act, hopes to continue improvements in its downtown area as well as the three blocks between downtown and Legacy Plaza.

In addition, Legacy Plaza LLC has a purchase agreement to buy some of the former Maytag campus buildings and convert them to 51 market-rate apartments, a 58-room hotel, a lobby/bar and a 500-seat event center, according to a news release. That project is valued at more than $20 million.

Applications for the state program are due in late February and money from the act is expected to be awarded in the spring.