MIDDLETOWN - The town’s Planning Commission is looking into officially recognizing the town’s historic district by way of an ordinance.
The Middletown Historical Society created a historic district that was recognized by the Department of the Interior in 2003.
“This new ordinance we would like to enact does nothing other than establish the historic district. It says we recognize the historic district, period,” said Town Councilman Daryl Terrill, who was filling in as council liaison at Monday night's meeting.
Terrill explained that a few years ago the town attempted to create its own historic district but scrapped the attempt when public sentiment was against creating a detailed historic district that would bring restrictions of what people could do to their property and require additional groups, such as an architectural review board.
Terrill stressed this was a new ordinance that would not create any model like that.
The commission will continue looking into the matter.
Also at the meeting, the commission agreed to forward its proposed Capital Improvement Plan to the Town Council.
The town had not updated its CIP plan in years. Town administrators had asked the commission to do so by removing items that had been replaced or no longer owned by the town.
Commission member Joan Roach, before the vote to move the plan forward, questioned whether it was the proper procedure to have a line item in the CIP for the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department.
Planning Commission Chairman Mark Dalton, who is the fire chief for the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department, in a previous meeting had asked members to consider adding a line for the town’s contribution to the fire department. Members at that meeting agreed to use $20,000 as a preliminary estimate that could be adjusted later once the Town Council made a decision on whether to approve a donation and for what amount.
Last year, Dalton had asked the town to contribute $20,000. The town eventually contributed $10,000 to the department.
Dalton and Terrill both said they thought that last year's donation had been handled as a line item.
In other matters, commission member Marc Furman agreed to act as secretary for the commission to transcribe the Planning Commission meetings. The meetings were being transcribed by Zoning Administrator Michele Snyder, who recently resigned to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.