News

Milford’s loss is Amherst’s gain

Thursday, February 9, 2012

By KATHY CLEVELAND

Staff Writer

MILFORD ­– Town Planner Sarah Marchant will have a new office soon – five miles away in Amherst.

Marchant was recently hired by the town of Amherst to be its new town planner and will start her new job March 5.

Marchant, who is 31, has been with Milford almost seven years and during that time established a GIS (Geographic Information System) that allows anyone with a computer to access property and assessing information, including aerial views, zoning and floodplain information, and links to property maps.

Getting a GIS started was part of why Amherst officials were interested in hiring her, she said, and the new job will give her more responsibilities, including zoning and overseeing code enforcement

“Right now (in Milford) I can focus on just planning,” she said, and in Amherst, she will have the same basic job as Milford Community Development Director Bill Parker, but on a smaller scale.

In Milford the planning department is interested in promoting commercial and industrial development, she said.

“I am not exactly sure what they want” in Amherst, she said. “Each community is really unique and has different ways to encourage development. Amherst (has a strong interest in) water resource protection. It’s a different twist I look forward to learning about.”

Parker said Marchant’s leaving will be a great loss to the town. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a bachelors of arts degree in geography and a minor in computer science. She also holds a masters of arts in geography from the University of Connecticut and graduate certificates in Geographic Information Systems and has been president of the NH Planners Association since 2010.

Amherst Planning Director Charlie Tiedemann announced his retirement in November.

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