At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday night, the majority of Newport City Council voted to accept the 2016 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) Award for the procurement of a new Fire & Rescue Boat.

The vote was 5-2 with Ward 3 Councilor Kate Leonard and Councilor-At-Large Justin McLaughin voting against the resolution. The vote followed 43 minutes of discussion from Newport City Council and testimony from 3 residents, among those to speak were Ryan Miller, Chairman of the Waterfront Commission, and Matt Gineo, Owner of Oldport Marine.

Audio From The Discussion Tonight (45 minutes)

With approval of the resolution, the City Council, on behalf of the Newport Fire Department, accepts the 2016 PSGP award for the procurement of a new Fire & Rescue Boat and Mayor Napolitano is authorized to sign any necessary documents for the same on  behalf of the City, subject to favorable review by the City Solicitor.

Those voting in favor of the resolution say there will be plenty of time to “vet out the process” before committing to the grant in October.

On April 13, 2015 Newport City Council had approved $267,500 to replace Newport Fire Department’s current rescue boat in 2017 through the Vehicle Replacement Plan, in the 2017 Operating Budget.  Shortly after that (on April 23, 2016) the Newport Fire Department applied to the 2016 Port Security Grant Program to obtain a Fire & Rescue Boat which “would greatly increase its operational capabilities and enhance the safety of the residents of Newport and it’s visitors in and around the waters bordering the community”, according to the resolution

FEMA has sanctioned the requested budget of $964,500 for the Fire & Rescue Boat, the City of Newport will be responsible for 25% of that total, approximately $241,125.

On June 29, 2016  the Newport Fire Department was notified by the FEMA that its application had been approved, on July 26th Nicholson sent members of the City Council a Request For City Council Action with a recommendation – “The Newport Fire Department recommends the acceptance of the 2016 Port Security Grant Program for the procurement of a new Fire & Rescue Boat” and what the acceptance would mean for the city;

“The acceptance of this grant will reduce the City’s budgeted expense by $26,375 and enable the Department to procure a vessel with all of the necessary attributes to provide for Marine Firefighting, water Rescue, definitive EMS (care & transport) and of even more importance the safety of the personnel carrying out these duties. In addition to the aforementioned, the Department would also be able to respond to incidents classified as Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE), as well as having the ability to immediately begin to mitigate certain emergencies that could have environmental impacts in our waters”

Newport City Council Received The Following Action Item #5566/16 And Approved The Accompanying Resolution

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).