During the Newport City Council meeting, the body gave its approval to an upgrade to the community center pool and agreed to explore the possibility of a storm warning system for the city.
Streets and Recreation Director Tim Dockery said the community center pool will be closed Aug. 5 – 17 for the $45,000 upgrades. The current filtration system is 27 years old.
Alderman Mike Hansel argued for the consideration of a storm warning system, pointing to the increased number of storms and their increased level of severity. He pointed out a number of warning systems are available including loud siren types, as well as those that send out warnings via cell phone.
Hansel said grants are available to cover a portion of the cost. The council agreed to request EMA Director James Esway research the available systems.
Hansel also suggested a camera be installed at the McMahan Avenue and Broadway intersection to photograph big rigs which leave damage to structures and signs. He stressed the cameras would not be used to target speeders.
Police Chief Maurice Shults said patrol officer William Garber has been recognized as the officer who made the most DUI arrests in the past year.
Vice Mayor Mike Proffitt recognized Sgt. David Clevenger, who assisted an employee of the library after a tree fell onto the structure recently, as well as his assistance of a local restaurant patron who was revived with the Heimlich maneuver.
City Manager James Finchum reported the street department is busy picking up downed trees and limbs, and the task is being handled street by street. The council went on record recognizing the street department, Newport Utilities and Wolf Tree Service for the hard work that went into cleaning up the damage left by recent storms in the community.
The council also recognized the Hard Times Street Rod Club for its activities which boost the local economy.
Three individuals were reappointed to boards they have been serving on, including Jimmy Lee to the beer board, Elizabeth Parker to the library board and James McSween to the planning commission.