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Town planner receives honor

Mallozzi graduated from Western Illinois University in 2000 with a master's degree in geography and planning with a focus on economic development. Hired by the town at a time when the town was facing "unprecedented growth," Mallozzi is credited by town officials for being a driving force behind many new initiatives the town has taken on in recent years. These include revising the town's comprehensive plan and updating the zoning in an effort to balance development with open space protection, recreation and trails. She has worked diligently to create the town's vision for a downtown area as well as creating a plan for the Route 9 corridor.

Working in conjunction with the town board, Mallozzi said she has molded her job to what she and they felt it should be. This has included the creation of another full-time planning position, implementing a geographic information system, and completing a townwide generic environmental impact statement to assist the town in its efforts to properly plan for future growth.

While Mallozzi was surprised by the award, kept a secret from her until the day it was presented, she said she was not at all surprised by the outpouring of support expressed by the other members of the "town family."

In addition to drafting the many letters, Mallozzi said a number of people showed up to watch her be recognized for her work and accept the award.

"That's typical of Malta," she said. "We're very close knit."

Although she appreciates being recognized for her work, Mallozzi is quick to note that the accomplishments listed were not hers alone. She counts the many volunteers in Malta as partners in the planning process.

"They all do such a great job," said Mallozzi who noted that the committees and boards that help create the various documents, plans and legislation are made up of volunteers from the community who dedicate a great deal of their personal time for the betterment of the community.

"It's not me. It's everybody around me that contributes to this great work," she said. ""

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