Troy University honors local leaders for river revitalization efforts

Posted: Monday, 27 October 2014

PHENIX CITY - Troy University honored individuals who played key roles in the revitalization and economic development of the Chattahoochee River with the first presentation of the Don C. Hines Achievement Award in Water Resource Economics on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Phenix City.

The award, named for the former dean of TROY's Sorrell College of Business who was instrumental in the establishment of an office of water resources for the State of Alabama, was created to honor individuals and groups who have shown extraordinary leadership and vision in the field of water resource management.

For the inaugural presentation, TROY leaders chose to recognize the Chattahoochee River Restoration Project, and honored a diverse a group of civic and governmental leaders who played key roles in the redevelopment of the riverfront in Columbus and Phenix City.

Various restoration and economic development projects over the course of more than a decade have led to renewed interest and growth along the Chattahoochee Riverfront, said Dr. David White, Vice Chancellor for TROY's Phenix City Campus.

"These projects involved the whole Columbus and Phenix City community, on both sides of the river, and the result is an improved quality of life and enhanced economic impact that is occurring for the entire region," Dr. White said. "While it's impossible to recognize everyone involved in this monumental project, we have assembled a number of people tonight who deserve some recognition. This award was earned by a lot of people over a long period of time."

Among those recognized with the award were:

  • Eddie Lowe, Mayor of Phenix City;
  • Evelyn Pugh, Mayor Pro Tem of Columbus;
  • Brigadier General David Turner , U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
  • Peggy Martin, Former Mayor of Phenix City;
  • Sonny Coulter, Former Mayor of Phenix City;
  • Jim Weatherington, Former Mayor of Columbus;
  • Steve Davis, President of Columbus Waterworks;
  • Wallace Hunter, City Manager of Phenix City;
  • John Turner, W.C. Bradley Company;
  • Beverly Kinner, representing Ed Kinner; and
  • Billy Turner, Troy University's Center for Water Resource Economics.

Accepting the award on the behalf of the team and the Uptown Columbus group, and representing all of those who worked on the project but could not attend, Newt Aaron, of Aaron and Clements Construction Management Services, called the riverfront project a true team effort.

"We want to acknowledge the contributions of the entire project team who worked many, many years to accomplish this project," Aaron said. "It took everyone's full creativity, their full commitment and a lot of hard work to get it done."

The award presentation was made during the first day of TROY's inaugural Water Management and Economics Conference. Organized by the University's Center for Water Resource Economics, the conference brought regional experts in the field of water resource management to the new riverfront Courtyard Marriott in Phenix City Oct. 22-24 to discuss the value and importance of water.

Brigadier General David Turner, the Commander of the South Atlantic Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, delivered the conference's keynote address on Oct. 22. He urged leaders to apply science, economics and collaboration in managing water resources.

"We need an integrated approach that brings relevant research and data to bear to make important choices based on the best information available that is backed by science—choices that are not always easy to make as we seek to balance the multitude of demands placed on water," Turner said.

Troy University honored individuals who played key roles in the revitalization and economic development of the Chattahoochee River with the first presentation of the Don C. Hines Achievement Award in Water Resource Economics on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Phenix City. Pictured left to right are: (first row) Sonny Coulter, former Mayor of Phenix City; Beverly Kinner, representing Ed Kinner; Peggy Martin, former Mayor of Phenix City; Evelyn Pugh, Mayor Pro Tem of Columbus, Judson Edwards, Dean of the Sorrell College of Business; John Turner, of W.C. Bradley Company; Billy Turner, Director of the TROY Center for Water Resource Economics (back row) Newt Aaron, of Aaron and Clements Construction Management Services; Jim Weatherington, former Mayor of Columbus, Brigadier General David Turner, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Eddie Lowe, Mayor of Phenix City; Steve Davis, President of Columbus Waterworks; and Wallace Hunter, City Manager of Phenix City. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)