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Zoning officer

Published April 05. 2010 05:00PM

Lehighton Borough Council says it wants to resolve two important zoning-related issues as soon as possible.

One is naming a zoning officer. However, the borough wants to hire someone to do the job part-time. The previous zoning officer, John Quinn, was a full-time borough employee.

The other issue is adjusting rates for building permits. Several council members expressed concern that some permit fees are too high for certain types of work.

"We do want to encourage people to fix up," said council member Melissa Ebbert.

Regarding the zoning officer, Quinn had resigned several months ago and borough manager John Wagner is serving as the interim officer.

Wagner said that by going from a full-time zoning officer to a part-time one, the borough could save $10,000 to $20,000 and not have to pay benefits.

Regarding the fee schedule for permits, council members said some of the fees charged are too high.

"We have some very strong inconsistencies on what we charge and what we don't charge," said council member Dale Traupman.

Several times in the past year, when requested, the council agreed to reduce the inspection fees for various projects such as porch replacements.

Scott Rehrig, a member of council, appeared agitated that revising the fee schedule is taking so long.

"We were doing this 12 months ago and we're still doing it now," he said.

He added, "We have to be more people-friendly."

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