Newport is looking at implementing the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Model Water Use Restriction Ordinance. A mandatory water restriction was put in affect in October. Public Works Director Larry Wiggins said that the Water Department has lower the output of water from Gillman Pond from over 500,000 gallons a day to 250,000 gallons a day and the pond is still declining about an inch a day. The town has started using water from the town’s well at Pollard’s Mills to supplement its supply.
Newport may even forego having their ice skating rink this winter due to the drought. According to the Newport select board Chair Jeff Kessler and Interim Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg not having the rink this winter is on the table. They continue to say that the recreation department is looking at other means to get water for the rink. In addition, the recreation department is considering initiating new outdoor activities for its winter carnival.
A public hearing on the new water restriction ordinance is scheduled for Monday, Dec 5 at 6:30 pm in the Newport Select Board Room. One aspect of the ordinance calls for fines of $100.00 for the first offence, $500.00 for the second, and $1,000 – $10,000 for the third offence.