Sand resigns as Tryon/Columbus planner

Published 12:56 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

After about a year of working jointly for the towns of Columbus and Tryon as town planner, Melanie Sand has resigned.

Columbus Town Council announced Sands decision last week. Since last July, Sand has served in a dual capacity for both Tryon and Columbus as planner. She worked for Tryon two days per week and for Columbus three days per week.

Columbus officials said Sand has received a scholarship to receive her master’s degree in urban planning. They said they hate to see her go, but understand the opportunity and wish her well.

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Columbus decided not to replace Sand for at least three months, taking the opportunity to save money in the town’s budget next year. Council said the delay will also allow newly hired manager Jonathan Kanipe, who starts next month, to assess the towns need for a planner. Sand replaced former Columbus planner Daniel Hallstrom, who was the towns first planner, after he had worked with Columbus for about a year. Both Tryon and Columbus previously contracted the service as needed through Benchmark CMR Services.

Sand moved from North Kokomo, Ind., to take the joint position. She was a 2009 graduate of the Ball State University college of architecture and planning in Muncie, Ind., where she earned a bachelors degree in urban planning and development.

In Tryon, she worked extensively on enforcement of ordinances and especially on cleaning up dilapidated houses. In Columbus, Sand worked on the Foster Creek Development as well as several ordinances and enforcement, including sign regulations, among others.

She will continue her work for the towns until July 14.