MIDLOTHIAN — The Midlothian City Council heard a presentation from John Garfield, director of planning, on updating the zoning ordinance during its meeting Tuesday night.

The update includes revisions to the format, wording, use of graphics and illustrations, and provides for a cross-reference system. All of the changes are intended to make a more user-friendly document.

Also included in the update are several changes to the zoning ordinances themselves.

After much discussion over one agriculture district amendment that would affect 30- to 40-percent ofMidlothian, the council decided to review the proposed changes for 30 days and reconvene Sept. 27 for a public hearing.

The council unanimously approved the purchase of two alarm receivers for the Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch Center, which receives all alarm signals, telephone calls and walk-in calls for emergency service. The old alarm receiver was outdated and responsible for some signals not being received or transmitted, it was discussed. The new alarms come with software that will display the alarm information directly on dispatchers’ computer screens, ensuring faster responses and reliable transmissions, it was noted.

In other actions, the council:

• waived the special event permit fee for Midlothian ISD’s homecoming parade.

• approved the creation of a staff committee to develop a program to reward and recognize exemplary city employees.

• approved an amendment to the economic development section of the comprehensive plan ordinance.

• held a public hearing for the proposed 2011-2012 annual operating budget and decided to adopt the budget Sept. 13.

• took no action on issues discussed in closed, executive sessions.

Contact Aaron at a.schwaderer@wninews.com or 469-517-1456.