Newport’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a five year, $100+ million plan that identifies a set of important capital projects and equipment purchases, and gives us a planning schedule and options for financing the plan. While the CIP has requests for city cars, trucks and tools, it also must be matched up with the short and long term goals of the city. This matching up process is really important since it ensures that our spending plan is explicitly aligned with our community’s longer term goals.
Understanding that we are living in extraordinary circumstances during COVID, our city’s budget is extremely crucial; every dollar counts. We must spend more energy balancing Newport’s wants with our needs. Having the proposed CIP reviewed by the Newport Planning Board serves a crucial purpose. It is the Planning Board’s responsibility to examine every development project under the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). The purpose of a CLUP is to guide the future development of the community. It would only be natural that the proposed capital spending under the CIP be reviewed by the planning board and to better synchronize that spending to the future land development across Newport.
City staff has labored long hours on drafting the proposed 2021-2025 CIP and I know that changing any long-held city process is difficult. While the local, state, and national economic environment is uncertain, I am very optimistic. I see many, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that will benefit all Newporters. Giving our highly talented civic volunteers on the Newport Planning Board the opportunity to weigh-in on the draft Capital Improvement Plan is something we should all applaud.
Angela McCalla, Councilor
Newport City Council, First Ward