Phenix City residents weigh in on Chattahoochee River project

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -  Columbus and Phenix City are getting Ready to Raft in 2012, but before they can break ground, representatives from "Project Riverway" want to hear from the people this plan will effect the most... The residents.

When you hear the term "town hall meeting" you usually picture a lot of citizens yelling and trying to talk over one another to get their opinions across, but that wasn't the case in Phenix City Tuesday night.

"As you can tell from most of the questions you see, they are more positive questions that help steer people away from negativity so we focus on more positive aspects of moving on in the future," explained Shaun Culligan, with Phenix City Economic Development.

The topic on the table was plans for the Chattahoochee River. Culligan said, "The main goal is to get the community together and give them the opportunity to voice their vision so we can capture it and hopefully put it to good use in the future of this project."

From adding green space, to enhancing the RiverWalk, residents like Patty Landreau had the chance to share their ideas and visions for the future of their city, "I'm sort of a newcomer to the area so I really wanted to find out everyone else's vision too and see if it was the same as mine."

Project Riverway had a little help along the way from interns with the University of Georgia who are spending their summer working on this comprehensive project. Joanna Schwevens is one of those interns and said, "To talk to the community about their assets and challenges and how they envision their city for the future so they can have economic development based around the river front. We're here to talk to them now and then we will go back to Athens to develop a plan that will implement their visions."

The overall goal was to hear from residents and make sure the entire community is on the same page in regards to the river.

"It connects both the cities and what happens with the river will affect both Columbus and us too. There will be a main focus on attracting people."

Project Riverway wanted to make sure they did not bring their plans to the meeting, they wanted all original ideas from the people who work and live in Phenix City.

Their answers to a series of questions regarding the Chattahoochee River will be filed electronically and put towards the development of a comprehensive plan.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.