Scaling Down and Moving Ahead

NEWPORT CITY – Work on having a hotel on the corner of Main Street and Coventry Street is moving full speed ahead. The Newport City Council Monday approved the request for the city to apply for a $401,000 implementation grant under the Vermont Community Development Program.The hotel will be on the second floor of the Largo Trattoria Restaurant. During a public hearing, held prior to the start of the council meeting, Michelle Richardi, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Frank Richardi, said they scaled the project back from the original plan that included 23 rooms and adding two stories to the building, to having seven rooms in the existing building. "We are finding it’s too big for the area,” said Michelle Richardi of the original plan. “Going smaller will benefit us as well.”The Richardis plan to start renovations in October or November. They are in the process applying for funding in addition to the grant. The council also accepted a $4,400 aquatic nuisance control grant from the state to pay someone to greet boaters going onto Lake Memphremagog and to educate boaters about plants such as milfoil. The greeter also makes sure there are no plants on the boats before the owners launch them into the lake.