Karl Nilsen Named Zoning Enforcement Officer

When the Planning and Zoning Commission reconvenes its hearing on the proposed firehouse next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall, there will be a new Zoning Enforcement Officer helping to guide the commission in its deliberations.

Karl Nilsen has previously worked in New Hartford, Colebrook, Burlington and Canaan, and “is very knowledgeable,” according to First Selectman Matt Riiska. He follows in the footsteps of Michael Halloran, who retired from the position this week. 

Marinell Crippen, who has served as secretary for both the P&Z and the Inland Wetlands Agency, will become office manager, working in Town Hall for two or more afternoons a week, taking charge of clerical work and directing calls to Nilson. Dates the office will be open are still to be decided.

The changes in staffing were suggested by Halloran during the Selectmen’s January meeting, when he said he believed the town’s needs could be served by eight to 10 hours of office help each week, with a ZEO being present in town once or twice a week.

Riiska noted during the meeting that it is becoming harder and harder for small towns to fill positions such as land use administrators, assessors and building inspectors because they do not generate the same amount of business as larger communities. 

“Unfortunately, it’s a situation that will only get worse because there is not enough work to keep them employed full time and the state wants more and more certification,” he observed.

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