The Newport city council held a hearing on Monday night on a draft ordinance that would prohibit the use of single-use plastic, carryout bags. The council once again heard from many Newport citizens as well as those who live outside the city who shop in Newport who advocated for the ban including students.
Those who opposed the ordinance, pointed out that the citizens of Newport made the choice not to ban plastic bags and that should be honored. Others told the council that people re-use the plastic grocery bags for many purposes around their house. Rex Capri said he opposes having the plastic bags taken away and then having to pay for paper bags, when you don’t have to do that now. He said that it goes against what the voters of Newport wanted.
Following the public hearing, the Council discussed moving forward with the ordinance or to put it to a vote of the people once again in November. Councilor Ryan made a motion that was seconded by councilor Hall to further discuss the bag ban ordinance at a work session and bring it back for a final council vote on the 15th of April, without a referral to the voters. The motion passed by a 4 to 2 vote with councilor Alan and Mayor Sawyer voting against, stating they wanted to refer it to the voters.
The council will be discussing the matter in a work session tomorrow (3/8/19) at 8:30am at city hall in council chambers. The public can also still provide comments to the city council. Another public hearing will be held on the 15th for comments as well.