Newport Community Center

Pictured is an artist's rendering of a proposed community center for Newport. Town voters said no to the proposal, with many worried about the tax impact of the $6.5 million project.

NEWPORT — Voters took a pass on the proposed $6.5 million community center, rejecting a warrant article, 553 to 443, at Tuesday’s annual Town Meeting, with some expressing concern about the cost.

The project would have required taxpayers to cover $3.5 million in bonds for the project, while the remaining $3 million was slated to come from private donations, grants and other non-tax sources.

In a statement released Wednesday on social media, members of the Community Center Committee stated they would continue to raise money in hopes of reviving the prospects of the new facility.

“We have received lots of great feedback and many who said they didn’t support it this year said the total tax burden this year from both Town and School was too much. Many said that next year may be better for them,” the statement reads.

The town’s feasibility study on the project found that while families with children frequently take part in Newport Recreation Department programs, there are not enough programs available for seniors in town, who often seek recreation opportunities outside of Newport.

“The goal of most community centers is to integrate generational activities as a means of creating community,” the report states.

The town’s current recreation center is not fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to town information.

The plans for the proposed new recreation center included a larger gymnasium, a game room, teams rooms, a fitness room with weights and exercise equipment, as well as space for community gatherings and events.

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