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NEWPORT—The City of Newport Board of Mayor and Aldermen met Tuesday evening where they received monthly updates and passed its 2019-20 fiscal budget.

Council did not have a lengthy agenda and only met for a mere half hour.

Under new business, council members gave their approval for Mike and Mac McCarter to purchase West End Package Store, located on West Broadway Street. All members approved the purchase request with Alderman Bobby Knight abstaining from voting.

Alderman Mike Hansel made the suggestion to not change street names to business names. Last year, council voted to change the names of two streets to RGE Boulevard and TEVET Way. However, in recent months, both industries have closed and City Council had to vote to change the street names again.

Alderman Hansel said he did not want to put it up for a vote.

In addition, Alderman Hansel addressed a recent social media post by WLIK Radio detailing the closure of three businesses since the first of the year. The post noted that Fred’s, Sagebrush Steakhouse and Save-A-Lot have closed in Newport, without a detailed explanation.

“They put that three major businesses were leaving the City of Newport. That is true,” Hansel stated. “But there is no conspiracy between the city of county to keep businesses from leaving or staying here.

“Unfortunately the businesses left and what seems to me, it was a corporate decision.”

In other news, council held a public hearing regarding the first readings of the City of Newport annual budget for fiscal year 2019-2020, budget amendments for the City of Newport and Newport Grammar School, and the purchase request of the West End Package Store.

Council accepted the bids for renovations of the Newport Police Department. The lowest bid came with a price tag of roughly $190,000. Chief of Police Maurice Shults said modifications could occur to the plan which would bring it in under budget. Council also accepted the lowest bid of $8,300 on a truck for the Newport Street Department.

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