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NEWPORT CITY - After a lengthy and sometimes heated discussion Monday evening, the city council voted unanimously to support a letter written by Mayor Paul Monette to AARP to start an advisory board to make Newport an age-friendly community. Newport is the first Vermont community to have such a designation that includes about 15 other U.S. cities.
The board will help the city meet the needs of the aging population, said Kelly Stoddard Poor, AARP associate state director of outreach.
Bill Stenger, president and CEO of Jay Peak Resort, wrote in a letter of support to Monette that next to Maine, Vermont is the second oldest state in the country and 16 percent of Northeast Kingdom residents are over 65. Poor told the council Monday that by 2030, the 16 percent figure would increase to 25 percent of the population.
To meet some of the needs of the aging population, the city needs to address issues regarding transportation, affordable housing, community and civic engagement, Poor said.
AARP will choose members of an advisory board that will conduct a survey of local residents to see what Newport needs to become age-friendly. The board will then present its ideas to the council.
Please see The Newport Daily Express Wednesday for the complete story.