NEWPORT — A petition article that would have asked voters if the town should sell the town-owned airport at May town meeting was amended Tuesday night at the town’s deliberative session. The amendment easily passed by a show of hands from the 88 voters in attendance at the session, Town Manager Paul Brown said Wednesday.
“The petitioners were concerned about the expenditure of town funds on a property that isn’t used by the general public,” Brown said. But Brown and the majority of voters at the deliberative session say the town-owned airport, Parlin Field, is an asset the town should hold on to.
“I think it was potentially short-sighted to sell the airport to deal with expenditure issues. The tax money that goes to the airport is about $17,000 and then there is an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 in town equipment used,” by the airport, Brown said. “I just think the airport is an asset that should be retained by the town because we don’t know what the future is going to hold.”
The article was amended to ask voters if they want “to explore the option to sell, lease or retain ownership of those premises known as the Newport airport,” Brown said. Voters will take up the amended petition article during the May town meeting ballot voting planned to take place May 12 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Newport Opera House/Town Hall.