FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority has elected Gov. Matt Bevin as its chairman for 2019.
Bevin has been involved and supported the Tenn-Tom Waterway and the inland waterway system during his time in office and has worked with new and existing industry along the inland waterway system, such as the re-opening of the Verso Paper Mill in Ballard County by Global Win Wycliffe and expansion at Wacker Chemical Corp. in Calvert City.
“I look forward to serving the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority as chair, as the compact continues to responsibly manage the waterway and its continued development,” said Bevin. “There are tremendous upside possibilities for increasing its economic and trade potential, in addition to furthering industrial and recreational opportunities. I am excited about assisting our forward progress on all these fronts, while also keeping the authority’s stated mission at the forefront of all we do.”
The authority is a four-state interstate compact comprised of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, and ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1958 to promote the development of the Tenn-Tom Waterway and its economic and trade potential. Members include the four governors and five appointees by each governor, for a total of 24 members. Chairmanship rotates annually among the four governors.
The waterway compact will also be led in 2019 by Kenny Imes, of Murray, as its vice-chairman, and T.L “Bud” Phillips of Columbus, Miss., who was re-elected as its treasurer.
Judge Imes is the judge-executive of Calloway County, and has been a member of the waterway compact since 2017. Phillips, a businessman, is the longest serving member of the authority, having first been appointed in 1988.
The Tenn-Tom opened to commerce in 1985 and has proven to be a vital transportation route for shipping raw materials and other bulk products between mid-America and the Southeast. Its cost effectiveness and energy efficient barge service have attracted billions of dollars of new and expanded industrial development to the waterway region. An extensive development of marinas, campgrounds, and other related facilities has made the waterway corridor a major attraction for recreationists and nature lovers.