The city of Newport is seeking funds for a parking lot and a fire truck.

The City Council has adopted resolutions to apply for Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program grants to help cover the costs for each. In addition, the council adopted a resolution this week to have the White River Planning and Development District, Inc. to administer the grants.

One resolution allows the city to apply for a grant to build a parking lot at the Jackson County Library. Mayor David Stewart said the CARES Act grant is for $130,000.

“It’ll also cover the demolition of the concrete from the [old] building,” Stewart said Tuesday. “And it will extend the library’s Internet access to the parking lot.”

Stewart explains that the Internet access not only functioned as a “Hot Spot” but would also allow patrons to conduct library business from the parking lot without having to leave their vehicles.

The other grant, of $250,000, is to buy a 2021 Freightliner fire truck similar to models on hand.

“That won’t cover the entire cost,” Stewart said. Total cost is estimated to be about $350,000. The vehicle is be a 1,500 gallon per minute pumper truck.

The council also heard that during the 2019 legislative audit, there were no findings. A “finding” is an instance of noncompliance with required auditing standards. “We historically have good budget reports,” Stewart said, “and we are very proud of that.”

The council voted to appoint Sherry Steele to serve out the unexpired term of Benjy Harris on the Newport Advertising and Promotion Commission. The term expires in March 2024.

It also voted to appoint Kenny Thaxton III to the Newport Planning Commission. Thaxton’s appointment is both to serve out the unexpired term (until July 2021) of Robbie Hindman and to serve the next full term (until July 2024).

The council also adopted a resolution to continue the city’s participation in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

“It expired at the end of the year,” Stewart said, “and this continues it until the end of March.”

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