Firm to fill land use gap


NAUGATUCK — Borough officials have turned to a consulting firm to temporarily cover some land use issues.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month approved a contract for temporary consulting services with the Hartford-based firm, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.
Retirements have left the land use office understaffed.

Town Planner and Wetlands Enforcement Officer Keith Rosenfeld and Zoning Enforcement Officer Steven Macary retired at the start of this fiscal year as part of an early retirement deal. The agreement waived the retirement age restriction for Rosenfeld to be eligible for early retirement, and waived the age requirement for Macary to receive normal retirement benefits.

Officials are looking to fill the two positions with one person to save money. The move is expected to save about $40,000 in the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to officials.

There are some items the borough needs assistance with until the new person is hired.

“There are certain applications for which we need some professional consulting experience,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.

Public Works Director James Stewart said the company is expected to work between four and 10 hours a week with the borough.

According to the contract, the services cost between $120 and $150 an hour, depending on whether the borough needs a senior planner or consulting planner.

“We’d only use them as needed for a particularly complex application for the Planning Commission and Zoning Commission. We’d be handling [the Zoning Board of Appeals] and the Inland Wetlands Commission ourselves,” Stewart said.

Stewart said interviews for a new town planner are being scheduled this month. He expects the new planner to start in September.

The money to pay the consulting company would come from the regular payroll that is budgeted for the position the borough is expecting to fill.