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New Castle needs community representatives

Heidi Rice

Those wishing to give back to their community and help shape the future of New Castle are desperately being sought to fill one position each on the town council and the Planning and Zoning Commission.The council position opened in mid-January when Sharon Owens resigned because she moved out of the town.”We need to fill the position by mid-March,” said town clerk Lisa Cain. “If we don’t, we have to call a special election, which can be expensive.”The town council is the governing body of the town and sets policies in all areas of town services. The council consists of the mayor and six council members. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter and a resident of New Castle for at least one year. Council members receive $50 for each regular and special council meeting they attend. Council meetings are at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at New Castle Town Hall, 450 W. Main St.The Planning and Zoning Commission is also seeking to fill a vacancy. The commission reviews the town’s master plan, which guides the development of the town and the surrounding area. It also oversees regulations governing the subdivision of land, and reviews regulations for the town’s zoning districts and various types of land-use applications, and then makes recommendations to the town council.The commission consists of seven members, five of whom are appointed by the mayor and town council to four-year terms. The mayor and one town councilor fill the remaining seats on a rotating six-month basis. Commission members do not receive compensation.”The P and Z is really the heart of the growth scene in New Castle,” said Mayor Bill Wentzel. “Any time a new development comes through, the details are worked out through P and Z. It’s an important position – there’s a lot of opportunity to contribute to the community through P and Z.”The commission’s regular meetings are at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and workshop meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of the month, both at New Castle Town Hall. The person appointed to P and Z would serve until April 2008.”These positions are a great way to give back to the community and have a say in the direction the town is going,” Wentzel said.


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