A library window with damaged sticking that requires replacement. Current estimates put restoration at $17,085 if done this fall instead of 2024. Image courtesy Newport Council packet.
Newport Council to meet Oct. 6

Amended fee schedule, question of library window restoration among items on agenda

Meeting on Thursday Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the new City Hall, the Newport City Council will have plenty to cover. Following approval of four sets of meeting minutes (three council, one for plan commission) will be two resolutions, the first for a gambling application and a second for a city fee schedule update.

As to the otherwise routine gambling application, it involves the St. Paul Park/ Newport Lions Club, which will be having off-site gambling for a raffle Oct. 22, at Tinucci’s Restaurant. The Lions are an organization started a century back in Chicago, with the motto “We Serve.”

Regarding the resolution to update the city fee schedule, it relates specifically to bringing non-resident hookup fees for water and sewer in line with what would be otherwise assessed to city residents, for those technically outside city limits but hooked up to its infrastructure.

Previously priced at $13,500 for those outside the city limits, the amended fees as stated in the resolution call for a fee of $5,000 to non-residents to connect a “non-replaced trunk line” to sewer or water, while non-residents on streets worked on by the City in 2020 can expect a hookup fee for water and sewer of $1,500, or in line with what city customers would pay. The fee schedule update comes as municipalities cannot assess non-residents “for anything,” per Travis Brierely, interim City Administrator for Newport. The coming fee schedule update thus effectively takes the place of an assessment for those living close to Newport’s municipal borders and using city services, if technically across the municipal line.

In short, everyone will pay the same rather than some paying more, thereby resulting in an equal charge for equal service.

Following the consent agenda this Thursday at Newport will be the Washington County Sheriff’s Officer report, along with fire chief and engineer reports. The Engineer’s report for Oct. 6 includes Ordinance No. 2022-08 for Illicit Discharge, with some new definitions and a new section on “Animal Waste.”

In short, pick up after your pet, and don’t try disposing of their waste in city storm drains.

Following the Engineer’s Report Thursday will be one by the Superintendent of Public Works on library window restoration, with $50,000 now in the Building Capital Improvement Fund (CIP) for window restoration come 2024. The Council will be asked to consider moving up restoration to this fall, as a cost estimate from Medicine Wood LLC of Saint Paul Park put the restoration at $17,085, significantly below the $50,000 in the Building CIP.

Should library window restoration be done this fall, the cost would be billed to the Building CIP and refunded using 2023 budget numbers. The cost of waiting until 2024 to do window restoration, is unknown.

After the update on library window restoration, the council is scheduled to hear a report from Administration which includes Resolution No 2022-39, related to transferring FEMA Grant Signature authorization from retired city administrator Deb Hill to Brierly as the interim city administrator.

Pending mayor and council reports, the meeting will then adjourn.

October 5, 2022