Community Spotlight: Newport City
Newport City, located in the northeastern part of the state, is known as a gateway between Canada and New England. Lake Memphremagog serves as a recreational asset and includes a Fish and Willdife Refuge, which draws hundreds of species of birds and animals. The City of Newport, with a history as a thriving rail town, has since developed an economic base around the tourism industry. Today, Lake Memphremagog and Jay Peak draw tourists to the area because of the area’s remarkable rural and scenic beauty.
With 5,207 residents, Newport is the most populous municipality in Orleans County. While small in size, Newport City and neighboring Derby, make up one of only two urban centers throughout the Northeast Kingdom. Jobs in the region are widely distributed among the following sectors: manufacturing, health service, education and government.
The city recently became the 23rd community to receive “Downtown Designation” status from the state. This accomplishment accompanies a grant for revitalization efforts, which are already underway. “The Newport City Renaissance Project is enjoying the momentum of progress because of the participation of over 40 community members who are active in the committees that drive the project,” says Patricia Sears, Project Executive.
The revitalization of Newport City will be focused primarily on Main Street, but will also include some re-construction of the waterfront area. The City has hired architects to conduct a community charette which will address issues of parking, traffic, and access to the airport. The charette will focus on smart growth practices for the future development of Newport City, as one of the city’s goals is to become “clean and green”.
As the city’s population increases, people active in the revitalization efforts understand the importance of planning for future growth while preserving the open space and rural landscape that draws so many visitors.