Pollard leaving New Milford Town Hall post

Karen Pollard

Karen Pollard

contributed

NEW MILFORD — Waterstone Properties Group, headquartered in Needham, Mass. has selected Karen Pollard, the town’s Economic Development Department director, to join the firm as director of development to evaluate, direct and manage current and future real estate developments.

Her decision to leave New Milford Town Hall comes after a short but impactful tenure, officials said in a Feb. 3 announcement.

“Karen is an exceptional economic development professional, and I’m glad she shared her passion for development and creative thinking with New Milford,” Mayor Pete Bass said. “We wish her much success as she expands her horizons with Waterstone Properties Group.”

Pollard, who will be moving on to her new position later this month, was recruited to Connecticut after a national search and quickly launched New Milford into the national development arena, the announcement said. She authored a focused strategic plan which has now been incorporated into the town’s draft Plan of Conservation and Development. After a rigorous analysis completed by Pollard, New Milford was recognized for “Best Practices in Land Use & Economic Development” and she presented to an international audience at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference.

Since her start in April 2019, New Milford has had nearly $70 million in new construction with 46 percent of that in commercial and industrial development, the announcement said.

“New Milford has tremendous potential for transformational development, and the work being done now by the Riverfront Revitalization Committee and the grass-roots Sustainable CT Committee are a brilliant foundation for New Milford’s future. I am very pleased to have contributed and worked with so many wonderful people,” Pollard said. She plans to continue to follow the many projects through social media and friendships.

Officials credited Pollard’s “award-winning expertise in entrepreneurial and neighborhood development worked overtime since the advent of Covid, launching and implementing multiple new programs, especially a highly successful shop local program and working with small businesses one-on-one to offer advice and support.”

Her leadership and advice was vital to the town’s Corona Virus Task Force and the Long-Term Recovery Committee, the announcement said. Collaborating with the Economic Development Commission, they were able to propose an increase to the tax abatement policy which had an immediate effect on real estate investment for small and large businesses, the announcement said. The Corporation for New Milford Economic Development repurposed funds to donate plexiglass shields and PPE to the small business community, and distributed grants and low-interest loans.