copyright the Chronicle April 5, 2017
by Joseph Gresser
NEWPORT CENTER — Voters here gave the nod to a plan to provide an ample supply of safe drinking water to residents of the village of Newport Center. In balloting Tuesday, town residents approved a $745,000 bond by a vote of 95 to 13. One hundred nine out of 1,316 people on the checklist voted.
The money will pay for two new wells, a treatment facility to remove arsenic and manganese from water, and the electrical and plumbing connections needed to keep the new wells flowing.
At an informational meeting held at the town offices March 30, Steve Barrup, who chairs the select board, said the village water board has applied for grants from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program to help pay the cost of the system.
Because Newport Center is part of the Rural Economic Area Partnership Program (REAP) zone, comprised of Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia counties, it’s eligible for grants that could cover up to 75 percent of the project’s cost. The hitch, Mr. Barrup said, is the USDA will not consider a request unless a municipality has authorized a bond for the project.
With the positive vote, the town can wait to see what size grant it gets before deciding whether to go forward with the project, Mr. Barrup said.
The entire town must vote for the bond because it will continue to exist even if all the water department’s customers leave the area, he said.
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