DCD brings on assistant director; fills building inspector, commissioner posts

Bryn Keplinger (right) is sworn in Monday, March 30, as assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development by Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) . DCD Department Director Nate Schacht observes.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Bryn Keplinger was sworn in Monday, March 30, as assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, ending a three-year stretch of the department operating without an assistant director.

Also sworn in were Shad Paul, as the DCD's building commissioner, and Brandt Finley, the department's building inspector.

Keplinger joins DCD Director Nate Schacht in the leadership of the agency, which is responsible for planning and zoning issues throughout Huntington County. The assistant director's position has been vacant since Schacht, the most recent assistant director, was named to the director's post three years ago.

Keplinger actually joined the DCD on the last day of 2008.
Keplinger's presence, Schacht says, will allow the DCD complete a number of ongoing projects and look toward the future as it begins to update ordinances.

"We've already produced or have in the works to produce a number of ordinance amendments that are desperately needed," Schacht says.

The DCD is currently drafting a new wind ordinance for the county, assisting with downtown revitalization projects in Huntington and Roanoke, working on the creation of neighborhood associations and updating comprehensive plans for both Huntington and Warren, Schacht and Keplinger say.

In addition, Warren is interested in the DCD's help on downtown revitalization and a possible new TIF (tax increment financing) district to help spur development.

"We're going to chase some stimulus dollars," Schacht says.
Once the current projects are completed, Schacht says, he and Keplinger plan to begin revising zoning ordinances that he says are outdated and lack enforcement procedures. The ordinances were last updated in 1984, he says.

"A lot has changed in terms of technology and development," Schacht says.

Keplinger, a lifelong Huntington resident, holds a bachelor's degree in urban planning and development and a master's degree in urban and regional planning, both from Ball State University.

Paul, who previously served as building inspector, was named to the building commissioner's post at the first of the year. He succeeds Dennis Mick, who retired from the position.

Finley joined the department in late February to serve as building inspector after Paul's promotion.