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NEWPORT CITY â€“ The Newport City Docks are expanding to meet demand. Twelve transient â€śslipsâ€ť for boats to dock for day use or up to one week will be added this summer, said Andrew Cappello, the cityâ€™s recreation department director.
An approximate 130-foot addition will be added to the current transient location, with a completion date estimated at July 1.
The new addition will not only help meet demand but also help boats dock safely in the event of a storm and will encourage more visitors to Newport, Cappello said.
Cappello applied for a federal grant through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. The total cost of the project is about $72,000. The grant will cover three-quarters of the cost with the city picking up the rest.
Demand is high for docking in Newport, explained Harbor Master Tim Daley. The city docks currently have 24 slips for boats for seasonal use and additional spaces for day use. The 24 seasonal slips are always full and there is a waiting list. Daley said the additional spaces will allow more people to shop and dine in the Newport area.
The city docks see significant Canadian traffic for either docking or to buy fuel. There is a U.S. Customs check in place at the docks, as well.
On any summer day, during the busy season of July and August, Daley sees about 15 to 20 boats coming in, depending on the weather. Boating is weather dependent.
"Newport City Renaissance Corporation can't wait until the new transient slips are installed at the Newport City docks this summer," said Patricia Sears, Newport City Renaissance Corporation's executive director. "We have a high demand for this kind of temporary dockage from our Canadian neighbors who love to sail down Lake Memphremagog to Newport for dining and shopping and we anticipate more buying customers as a result.â€ť
â€śHaving the additional 12 slips for boats to dock at during the day is clearly a celebration of commerce in our port of Newport," Sears added.