Phenix City matches state grant money to revamp river walk - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Phenix City matches state grant money to revamp river walk

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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

The first item on the agenda for today's city council meeting: the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) granted Phenix City $100,000 last month to build up the existing trail along the Chattahoochee River.

Today, the city voted on an agreement to match $35,000 of the State's money for changes to the river walk complex.

Phenix City manager, Wallace Hunter explains, "This grant, it helps us be able to move forward and making sure everything is done right, and falls in place on the river walk the way we want to."

In piecing together the City's new developments, City Council voted to add funds to the State-awarded redevelopment grant. The $100,000 was intended to add lighting, signage and restrooms to the concrete trail between the existing walk way, and the river near 3rd Ave.

City leaders say the additional money will be used to make even more improvements.

"We have an additional revenue of funds that we will be expending on some other portions of the river walk," says Hunter.

The new plans include an observation deck that overlooks the Chattahoochee River, rafters on the river, and a landing that connects to the walking area. Food and drink vending carts will be placed throughout the trail that will end at the Phenix City Amphitheater.

Mayor Eddie Lowe says these changes will add an attractive touch to the riverfront.

"That area is going to attract, and it's working the way we want it to, thousands of people. So, in order for us to attract thousands of people, we have to make sure that we have the amenities that will serve those people that are here," Mayor Lowe adds.

The Mayor and City Manager say the river walk remodeling is part of the "Positively Phenix City" Campaign to showcase the city's assets for residents and visitors alike.

Hunter says, "we expect to have a beautiful landing with a lot of people that are out there observing the rafters going up and down the river."

Mayor Eddie Lowe says the plan is part of Phenix City's initiative to make the river front a tourist destination for people visiting the Chattahoochee Valley. He says he expects the new river walk Marriott Hotel to open in August, and the new additions to the walking trail to open around the same time.

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