By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The U.S. Coast Guard team that maintains navigation aids along the Chattahoochee River in Eufaula, Alabama was relocated elsewhere in the Coast Guard’s 2015 budget request. On Wednesday, March 25 U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) announced that the team will remain operational and in Eufaula.
Congresswoman Roby said in a statement, “I appreciate the Coast Guard taking our concerns into account and reversing the decision to relocate the ANT team from Eufaula. This is good news for Eufaula and for the continued commerce that the lake and river bring to the area. Of course, we must realize this decision is not permanent, but we are pleased that the Coast Guard will continue its operations for the foreseeable future.”
Rep. Roby received a letter from Coast Guard Commandant Paul F. Zukunft that the Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) in Eufaula will remain despite the previous proposal to relocate them. Rep. Roby, Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, and Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop all protested the proposed move of ANT from Eufaula in a joint letter to the Coast Guard earlier this year. Congresswoman Roby, Senator Shelby said the move contradicted previous plans that were announced to Congress.
Admiral Zunkoft wrote, “After careful consideration, I am directing that ANT Eufaula remain open and continue to maintain the federal aids to navigation throughout the ACF system until such time as they no longer are necessary for safe navigation or can be divested to state, local, or private entities.”
Rep. Roby credited teamwork with local officials as key to enhancing Congressional efforts to stop the move. The Alabama Congresswoman said, “I appreciate Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs and TriRivers Waterway Development Association Director Billy Houston and all the local entities who worked with us. Presenting a united front is critical in these situations, and Eufaula knows how to work as a team.”
The ANT team has a 64 foot vessel they use to keep the river navigable.
Congresswoman Roby represents the Second Congressional District of Alabama.