By Kiera Morgan
Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel gave the city council Tuesday night a review of significant items that the council and the city addressed in 2016. The city voters discussed at length resuming fluoridation in the Newport drinking water. This was defeated by the voters. The Newport public works department had a busy year with crews battling wastewater overflows due to heavy rains and equipment failures at the pump stations. The new pump station at Agate Beach went online last week. For infrastructure projects topping the list is the new Aquatic Center. There was also road work completed in South Beach including the dedication of Safe Haven Hill tsunami evacuation spot.
Another thing Nebel praised was the completion of the hwy 20 project. He thanked ODOT for their willingness to try to minimize the impacts to the citizens and visitors in Newport. Nebel told the council that the number of building permits issued in Newport last year were the highest since 2007. The city also acquired the property across from city hall and has been working to turn that into additional parking spaces and for community events such as the farmers market. Nebel reported that the city also saw high employment turnover during 2016 with 5 employees that retired and they are seeing a high turnover rate of employees. He also congratulated the city on the 50th anniversary of the sister city agreement with Monbetsu Japan.