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The Times
  • Mayor-elect has big plans for Newport

  •  Newport’s new mayor-elect wants to bring village government into the 21st century.

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  •  Newport’s new mayor-elect wants to bring village government into the 21st century.
    When 29-year-old Ashley Hennings was elected this week, she became the first woman and the first twenty-something chosen as mayor in the village’s history. Her goals, she said, include establishing official office hours, creating email accounts for all village employees and installing a computer system for billing and record keeping.
    “I’ve been a lifelong resident, and I’d just like to continue to revitalize the village and move it into a somewhat modern direction,” she said.
    Hennings, who takes office April 1, said the biggest challenge facing the village is its $2 million water project. The village has yet to start construction on the project, which would bring it into state Department of Health compliance and update the system in order to provide adequate water for fire protection.
    Officials currently are waiting to close on two parcels of land that will be used for a new water tank, a filtration system and replacement of the chlorination system.
    “We want to make sure that we stay within the budget we set forth and stay on schedule,” Hennings said.
    Officials have said that the system needs to be up and running by November of this year.
    New village resident Heidi Worden, who beat incumbent Steve Woods for a trustee position, said she hopes to get unanswered questions about the water project resolved.
    “No one has actually come out and said what it’s going to cost (residents),” she said.
    Hennings said she hopes to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for the village to “keep communication open.” Another possible project would be opening an all-ages community center.
    “There’s a great desire for that,” she said.
    PROFILE:
    Ashley Hennings
    Age: 29.
    Residence: Main Street, Newport.
    Career: Works for insurance provider.
    Plans as mayor: Establish official office hours, see the village's water project through to completion, install a computer system for village records and create village Facebook and Twitter accounts.
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