The Town of Zionsville announces four new hires: two hires in the Planning and Economic Development Department and two hires in the Department of Public Works (DPW). Zach Lutz joins the Planning and Economic Development Department as Planner – Zoning and Suzanne Baker joins the department as Planner – Petitions BZA. In DPW, George Lewis joins the department as the Engineering Division Supervisor and Town Engineer and DJ O’Toole joins the department as Engineer.
This is the first time the Town of Zionsville has hired individual staff members to function as the Town Engineer and Engineer, which are part of DPW’s Engineering Division. The roles will bring in-house talent to the Town and enhance internal and external project coordination and operational efficiencies. The Town expects to reduce expenses significantly through this effort while increasing service substantially. Initial estimates indicate an annual savings of over $300,000 once the transition to in-house services is complete.
“I am excited to welcome these employees to our Planning and Economic Development Department and to the Department of Public Works,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “With the hiring of these employees, we are bringing more of our services in-house. Soon the Municipal Action Center will open in Town Hall, resulting in greater efficiencies, service to customers and cost savings.”
In his role as Planner I – Zoning, Zach Lutz will oversee inspections and reporting on compliance, sign and encroachment permits and agreements and code enforcement. Lutz previously worked for Rundell Ernstberger Associates in Indianapolis and prior to that, Gould Evans in Kansas City, Missouri. He has two degrees from Ball State University: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning and Development and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Design.
As Planner – Petitions BZA, Suzanne Baker will assist the Board of Zoning Appeals in applications and helping with other planning and zoning-related tasks. Baker previously worked at Hendricks County as a senior planner. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning and received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. She is certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and graduated from North Central High School.
As Engineering Division Supervisor and Town Engineer, George Lewis will review all private projects submitted to the Town for compliance with applicable standards and requirements. Lewis previously worked at GRW Engineers as a project manager. He has over 20 years of experience in municipal engineering including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems and roadway and site development projects. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Indiana. Lewis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute (Magna Cum Laude).
In his position as Engineer, DJ O’Toole will review development plans, inspections and determinations of compliance with accepted technical standards and industry practices. O’Toole has experience as a civil site design engineer specializing in stormwater conveyance, storage and water quality treatment. His experience also includes roadway design, site hardscape design, stormwater regulatory compliance and permitting, utility coordination and routing, construction administration, coordination of FEMA LOMR-F submittals and the design and installation of green infrastructure best management practices (BMPs). O’Toole is a licensed Professional Engineer in multiple states. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University.
These hires will be working out of Town Hall and part of the reconfigured Municipal Action Center (MAC), currently under construction. The MAC brings together experts and services from all departments: Finance and Records, Fire, Municipal Relations, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Economic Development, Police, Public Works and Wastewater. Moving DPW and other departments into Town Hall facilitates a true one-stop-shop experience in terms of service. The MAC, and specifically removing offices from a future municipal complex, will also result in a cost savings of approximately $1.3 million. The estimated total cost of the previous (2018) plan for the proposed new municipal complex (which included proposed plans for a new Nature Center and several facilities) was $15.6 million.
In addition to the MAC, the Town of Zionsville is utilizing OpenGov as the new online payment portal. The Parks Department has already started using OpenGov to accept online payment for the dog park and garden plots. The Planning and Economic Development Department will soon be utilizing OpenGov for permit payment processing.