January 25th, 2023
Newport City Council Preview
Please join us on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Any individual wanting to address the Council on a subject that is not on the agenda can sign in to speak for 3 minutes in the Citizens Forum with the City Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.
During this Wednesday’s City Council meeting, the Council will review items pertaining to the new property tax program, rules of Council, Easton’s Beach, and the capital improvement planning; among other topics. Here are some highlights:
Resolutions – To Be Voted Upon
- The first is to re-establish the Ad-Hoc Tax Committee. What does this mean? The Ad-Hoc Tax Committee will continue to study the implementation and effectiveness of the two-tiered residential tax program. The goals of the Committee will be to research the program through the collection of data and public comment on challenges with the program and will provide recommendations regarding enrollment, enforcement of the program, and additions to City ordinances. The two-tiered residential property tax tax program provides owner-occupied and rental properties occupied by year round residents with a break in their real estate taxes. Qualified property owners can file an application anytime between now and March 15, 2023. More information can be found on the cityofnewport.com site. The City Manager’s memo appearing later on the docket reports that to date 1,100 applications have been received.
- The second resolution on the docket concerns revisions to the Rules of Council document that was adopted at the January 11, 2023 Council meeting. The Rules of Council document references the provisions of the City’s Charter that governs the Council, duties of the Chair, how the Council shall debate items, how the meetings are structured, and standard of professional conduct for Council members. A minor issue with the document is that some of the Charter references are not in accordance with the online version of the City’s Charter, which has not been updated to reflect the voter approved five amendments to the Charter from this past November’s election.
Memos from the City Manager – For Receipt / Discussion
- The status update memo on Easton’s Beach states that the Carousel and Snack Bar Building is not salvageable based upon a November 1, 2022 Planning Study Report. The report concluded that the Rotunda Building is not structurally at risk but the report did recommend that the Beach itself is in need of a replenishment program that is estimated to cost $10 million.
- An extensive memo is provided in the docket attachments outlining the public process for annual review of the the Capital Improvement Plan and the City’s operating budget.
- The 5-Year Capital Improvement Program is a recommended schedule of public physical improvements for the City, the Newport School Department, and the Newport Public Library. In the memo, it is stated that a workshop could be held at the Council’s request to review the CIP, with a public hearing to be held at least a week prior to Council adopting the CIP. The proposed CIP will be submitted to Council by February 1, 2023.
- The Biennial Budget document covers two years of estimated revenues and proposed expenses. The proposed operating budget will be submitted to Council by April 15, 2023 with public hearings to follow in May and June.