Sand hired to serve as planner for Columbus, Tryon

Published 5:48 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Town of Columbus has hired Melanie Sand of North Kokomo, Indiana, as the town&squo;s new planner.

Sand will begin work July 13, replacing current planner Daniel Hallstrom, who has resigned as of July 31.

Sand is a 2009 graduate of Ball State University, college of architecture and planning in Muncie, Indiana, where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor&squo;s degree in urban planning and development. She received an academic excellence in planning award.

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Sand&squo;s position will be shared by the towns of Columbus and Tryon, and she will be relocating to this area immediately.

Sand says that her approach to planning is based upon the town&squo;s comprehensive plan, and she believes that community involvement in planning board meetings is essential. &dquo;Once planners have defined specific aspects of the community to improve or control, they should follow through with those commitments in order to maintain the area&squo;s quality of life,&uot; she says.

&dquo;I am really looking forward to being a town planner for a community that really cares,&dquo; Sand says. &dquo;I hope to see a preservation of the character and charm of Columbus and Tryon as the area continues to develop and prosper. I have been greeted with southern hospitality, and I know that this position will be an exciting new venture for me.&dquo;

&dquo;Melanie is a good fit for Columbus. Meeting the expectations of citizens and balancing growth pressures with planned development is key for both towns,&uot; says Columbus. &uot;Sand will work with Hallstrom for three weeks before he leaves. In early August, Sand will begin working two days a week in Tryon as part of an interlocal agreement to share planning duties.&dquo;