Middletown looking to expand Zoning Department

Middletown is signaling that it plans to expand its zoning department as it begins its search for a part time employee in the department.

Middletown council members at a work session Monday night were in unanimous agreement that an additional employee needed to be added to the department to help Middletown Zoning Administrator Fred Wharton.

“It is really going to make a difference as developers come in,” said Carole Snyder Jones, chairwoman of the Personnel Committee.

The entire area is being developed and with construction beginning on the 180-unit 60-acre Village of Middletown, the Zoning Department will soon be a busy place, Jones said.

They will be voting at the next council meeting to approve the move and to advertise for someone to work up to 28 hours with salary commiserate on experience.

Town administrators would like to see someone apply who is familiar with construction.

Town officials also decided to crack down on payment of overdue water and sewer bills.

Administrators said they are having a hard time collecting on the bills of a few families and agreed to no longer waive overdue fees or extend water service cut off times for those who are an ongoing problem and are not even attempting to set up payment plans.

Attorney J. David Griffin told council members of the legal concept of equal protection under the law, which means they are protected from lawsuits as long as they apply city policy in the same way to everyone. Once they start making exceptions for some residents they are vulnerable to challenges, Griffin said.