Phenix City Council to give $2 million to Troy University - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Phenix City Council to give $2 million to Troy University

Troy University may be one step closer to a new business school in east Alabama.

Tuesday morning, Phenix City Council voted to give the university $2 million dollars over a five-year period to go toward the new riverfront campus.

Several Phenix City business owners say they are ready to see construction on the site.

You can find everything from car stereos to diamond rings in Uptown Pawn Shop in Phenix City. The Owner, Mike Watford, knows his products bring people in the doors, but he hopes that a plot of land just across the street will attract even more customers.

"We still have a lot of people who don't even know we're here.  We've been in Phenix City for 12 years, and we still have people coming in every day saying, 'We didn't even know you were here.'  So, now, this will bring even more people to the area," said Watford.

Last week, Troy University's Chancellor, Jack Hawkins, Jr., told Phenix City Council the school lacked $1.5 million of the $9 million necessary to start construction on a 30,000 square-foot facility on land between 15th and 16th streets off 3rd Avenue.

Tuesday morning, council voted to give the school $2 million dollars over five years for the new school of business.  The money reportedly will come from business license fees on residential rental property owners.

Fred Williams owns F&M Cigars just a couple of blocks away from the land the new business school may call home.

"Phenix City needs a lot of business.  You know, everyone's been going to Columbus to shop and everything, and that needs to change I think," said Williams.

 He and Watford say the business school and other development projects, like a new hotel on the riverfront, will keep customers from heading across the Chattahoochee River.

"I say it's about time.  They need to catch up a little bit.  We're way behind over here, and I think this is a good thing.  The college, the hotel, and whatever else comes after that will draw things to the area."

Troy University could not confirm that the $2 million will make it possible for them to start construction on the new business school.  However, the university and the city have scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock about the development of the land and the business school.

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