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The City of Newport is joining a growing number of communities offering assistance to residents affected by the record-long federal government shutdown.

The measures, which were announced Tuesday, January 15th by City Manager Joseph Nicholson, will allow residents to delay payment on certain bills, including sewer, water, and real estate taxes at no penalty or interest.

“While we understand that the shutdown may seem like a distant issue, we also know that it can be a very real and personal matter for members of our local community,” said Nicholson in a prepared statement.

Beginning this week, Newport residents employed by the federal government who are not receiving paychecks are encouraged to reach out to Laura Sitrin, Director of Finance at (401) 845-5394, or to seek relief from certain municipal taxes and fees. Relief requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be accepted throughout the duration of the shutdown.

“Newport is known as a very tight-knit and generous community, and Newporters have always been known to lend a hand to their neighbors,” added Sitrin. “On behalf of the entire City staff, we hope this small gesture will ease some of the uncertainty facing many of our friends and neighbors.”

Currently, eligible residents may seek relief from Water and Sewer bills, as well as current Real Estate taxes. City staff will continue to refine and adjust its relief policies depending on the duration of the shutdown. Further questions may be directed to the City’s Finance Department at (401) 845-5394.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.