A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

City of Newport 2022 annual report shows continued growth with $247 million in new permitted projects

The City of Newport issued nearly $225 million in commercial construction permits and $22 million in residential permits during 2022, reflecting the continued vibrancy of the city.

Newport also boosted code enforcement, replaced playground equipment, planted hundreds of trees, filled more than 400 potholes and regularly engaged residents through a myriad of community service events and programs operated by the city’s police and fire departments, according to the City of Newport 2022 Annual Report.

“The City of Newport enjoyed another successful year as indicated by our accomplishments and efficient use of resources,” said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme. “While we have experienced continuing success, we continue to work on various issues such as aging infrastructure, efficient delivery of public services and affordable housing.”

Among the major developments currently underway in Newport include:

• Ovation, a $1 billion, 25-acre mixed-used riverfront development by Corporex of 1,000 residential units (condominiums and apartments), 500,000-square-foot of office space, 150,000-square feet of retail and entertainment space and the MegaCorp Pavilion music venue.

• Martin’s Gate, a nearly five-acre site nestled on a hillside along 14th Street that features 58 attached and single-family homes. Developed by Meierjohan Development Group and Thomas J. Ackermann Co., Martin’s Gate marks the first time that Homearama will be held in Northern Kentucky later this year.

(Click for full annual report)

“During 2022, we saw progress on the Ovation and Martin’s Gate projects, outstanding developments that are bringing new residents, businesses, visitors and excitement to Newport,” Fromme said. “When it comes to serving the public, we have enhanced our code enforcement and building inspection functions through the hiring of additional staff and maintaining our expanded jurisdiction certification.”

Following are 2022 highlights from each city department.

Newport Fire Department

The department responded to 1,900 fire calls and 2,969 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls in 2022.

Members of the department also spent more than 6,000 hours in training but still found time to make over 1,200 contacts with children during 2022.

“Community involvement doesn’t stop with kids,” the report said. “The Fire Department is involved in all neighborhood groups and has nearly perfect attendance at community meetings. You’ll see firefighters at every big event, such as Riverfest, to quickly respond in case of an emergency.”

Newport Police Department

The department responded to 26,239 calls for service during 2022 – approximately 71 calls every day.

Newport police also upgraded crosswalks near parks and schools, upgraded the NPD body camera system, and implemented a Newport Drone Program on top of their daily work.

“Charity is an important value to the Newport Police Department,” the report said. “Every year the department organizes a Stuff the Cruiser campaign before school starts and a Holiday Donation Drive with CAC and surrounding police departments. They also partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati at local schools. Their charity doesn’t end with children, this year they conducted a Scam Prevention campaign for our elderly community.”

Public Works Department

Newport Public Works Department is responsible for roads, the tree canopy, flood prevention, basic services, parks and recreation, the city swimming pool, festival preparation and clean up, a mechanic for vehicle maintenance, and more.

Replacing city playground equipment was a department priority in 2022, installing new equipment at Buena Vista and Ralph Mussman parks that was paid for with grant funding.

“You can find them working throughout the city any day,” the report said. “Things like a street sweeping schedule, a leaf pickup schedule, street and sidewalk repair and improvement, streetlight maintenance, and infrastructure projects are a constant. When snow starts falling, they jump into action working 12 hour shifts around the clock to keep the roads safe.”

Code Enforcement

The Newport Code and Planning Department is responsible for a wide range of issues in the city.

In addition to code enforcement and planning responsibilities, the department is charged with building permits, inspections, historic preservation, and five boards: Code Enforcement Board, Board of Adjustments, Planning and Zoning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and the Urban Design Review Board.

“Their goal for this year was to focus on a streamlined customer service process. Resulting in three new hires and a new online portal for permits and complaints,” the report said. “The department added Terri Baker, as the Animal Control Officer, to its department this fall. She has done an amazing job educating the public and helping the animals in the city.”

The restoration and promotion of The Southgate Street School Museum, housed in the building that operated as the city’s African-American public school prior to desegregation , was a major focus of the department, including Newport Historic PreservationOfficer Scott Clark and community volunteer Daylin Garland, whose mother attended the school.

Finance Department

The department manages the city’s $25 million annual budget. Its work includes overseeing economic development programs, such as the administration of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts, property tax moratoriums – a major incentive to the redevelopment of buildings throughout the city and particularly in the West End – and Jobs Development Incentive Program (JDIP).

The department also implemented new efficiencies by creating streamlined emails and fillable forms.

“The Finance Department keeps the city running behind the scenes,” the report said.

Upcoming in 2023

Looking forward, Newport will build on the momentum of 2022 with new economic development and infrastructure improvements.

“For 2023, we anticipate the beginning of several important projects including improvements to the U.S. 27/Carothers corridor and the mixed-use development of the parking lot adjacent to the World Peace Bell in the city’s urban core,” Fromme said.

A section of the Annual Report is also dedicated to two long-time city officials who retired in 2022: Former Mayor and Commission member Jerry Peluso Sr. and his cousin, Vice Mayor Frank Peluso, who once managed the city’s former water department.

“Thank you, Vice Mayor Frank T. Peluso Sr., for serving the city since 1973 and Commissioner Jerry Peluso for 35 years, including 12 years as mayor, of service to the city,” the report says.

City of Newport

Related Posts

Leave a Comment