Warren council seeks to retain local control of possible development area

Members of the Warren Town Council, meeting in special session on Thursday, Nov. 21, declined to take action on an ordinance formalizing a reduction in the size of the area in which development is controlled by town planning and zoning panels.

Mark Mussman, executive director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, attended the meeting to explain changes in extraterritorial jurisdiction that are being made throughout the county.

Extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) gives towns the right to control zoning issues for specified areas outside town limits.

Mussman said those areas outside the town are being returned to county jurisdiction.

The Warren council, however, doesn't want to give up town control of development in the area north of the town, where it has extended utility service and established a TIF (tax increment financing) district in order to encourage commercial development.

The Warren council asked for a review and possible amendment to the ETJ changes to allow Warren to retain control of the area north of town limits. Mussman will present that request to the Huntington County Plan Commission during its Dec. 11 meeting.

In other business:

• The council awarded a three-year trash hauling contract to H&H Disposal, which holds the current contract. Cost, procedures and pickup schedules will remain unchanged.

• Final approval was given to wages for 2014, which will award a 67-cent-an-hour pay raise to full-time employees and a $100-a-year raise for each town council member.