The Newport City Council met Monday night to review the 2018 budget.
While there were not many unanticipated changes to the budget, a few items were discussed. From the police department, equipment purchases will be made next year. Mayor Stewart informed the Council that Chief Michael Scudder did not spend much on equipment in 2017 and a few upgrades are needed. Scudder addressed the Council in reference to the animal control position salary. Scudder informed the Council that Eddie Popejoy has filled the position for many years and works seven days a week and on holidays, caring for the pound, feeding animals, and working regular shift hours. His pay for 2017 was $27,178. Alderman Moss commented he should be paid the same as an officer, the lowest pay being $34,857. The Council agreed to a $2,000 raise for the position before the annual raise.
The City Pool account was halved after the agreement last month for IMAD to manage the facility. The Fire Department plans to purchase a generator for Central Station and equipment for firefighters in addition to regular maintenance cost. The City Inspector’s office reported a decrease in some expense due to the purchase of a new vehicle this year. Stewart advised that with new buildings coming in, they will anticipate an increase in revenue for permits. Parks and Recreation received a grant that will allow them to finish the fencing project at George Kell Park.
The budget is scheduled to be approved at the regularly scheduled Dec. 18 meeting.