The Newport City Council went after a mountain of city issues during their council meeting at Newport City Hall Monday evening. And there were lots of improvements – almost too many to count. So here we go….
The Performing Arts Center has a lot of building improvements as well as performance areas. These improvements involves expanding the PAC footprint and expanding the Green Room facilities. Also, remodeling the David Ogden Stiers Theater to provide soundproofing and better air ventilation to allow performances inside one theater as well as the main theater. Also the city is forking over $215,000 to replace an HVAC control system. As part of the project the city has committed $600,000 dollars to the project renovations. All tolled the sticker price on this part of it is $2.1 million, including HVAC control systems upgrades.
Short Term Rentals (STRs) – inside cities and outside:
There is just under 200 short term rentals within the Newport City Limits and overlay. The city is in the process of examining taxes, licensing and other elements of allow groups of mainly out-of-towners to enjoy Newport’s stunning environment. But some of them are causing complaints like Illegal Rentals, Occupancy Overload, Parking, Trash, Noise and 16 other complaint categories. The bulk of the complaints received at City Hall were directed at dwelling units outside the Vacation Rental Overlay Zone: 74 complaints…mostly coming from a small number of people. Five (yes, FIVE) accounted for 46 of the 95 complaints received – 48% of total VRD customers. So it appears that the well behaved are well behaved while the rest wind up dealing with city inspectors. But there has been reported a slight drop in these incidents.
Newport Police have developed a 16 point questionnaire that police officials can evaluate when it comes to harvesting the attitudes of the public-at-large as they also evaluate police behavior on the street. What’s good will be reported good…what’s not good will be reported to the Police Advisory Committee to evaluate both the driving public and our men and women in blue. Results of the questionnaire will be released to the public at large while the police department evaluates where their department may need minor or major improvements.
Now…Covid-19 vaccinations – currently only city employees that fall underneath Oregon’s vaccination requirements actually become vaccinated. Only one employee filed for a medical exemption among Newport city workers, according to reports. The federal government is requiring that all employees who work for companies of over 100 workers are required to get their vaccine shots or undergo weekly testing for possible signs of Covid-19. These new conditions will debut within a month – so we’re told.
And finally, only city employees that are under the state’s vaccination requirement are fire department first responders who respond to a wide array of emergencies. Only one firefighter has filed for an exemption due to health reasons.
TO BE CONTINUED….NO DOUBT…