Rivercane name reflects heritage

Published 2:50 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
Even though the City of Atmore has taken on a huge development project at Interstate 65, it's attempting to keep its hometown flavor.
When the debate over the name of the 643-acre project arose during Atmore Industrial Board meetings earlier this year, board members and city officials wanted to stay true to its culture.
In doing so, they called on officials with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to help them come up with the name. The board unanimously voted Rivercane in, beating out Menawa, Talwa, Pascova and Muskogee.
"We wanted something unique that wasn't duplicated anywhere else," Rivercane Project Manager Jim Corman said. "We also wanted something that sort of tapped our history."
The name Escambia, which is an Indian name, means land of the cane breaks.
"Since Rivercane is native to this part of the country and was such a vital part of the Indian economy, we thought that since we have an economic development, which is vital to our economic future that Rivercane taps our roots and taps the name Escambia. It just has a nice ring to it."
When City Attorney Ed Hines revealed to the board during the Feb. 23 meeting that Escambia was the Indian word for Rivercane, the name was almost irresistible.
"That makes it that much better," board member Jim Johnson said.
Although the preliminary budget for landscaping in Phase 1 of the project is $890,000, Corman said the name would not be tied with the property.
"I think that part of what we are trying to do with Rivercane is to create an image that is No. 1, very attractive and No. 2, very progressive," Corman said. "That is why we want to use extensive landscaping, why we wanted water features and why we wanted all of the public and common areas, to create a kind of beauty. That is why we are requiring all underground utilities, roadways to be all curbed and guttered and mandating that all traffic ingress and egress into Hwy. 21 come through major intersections. What we are trying to do is to present an organized, progressive, well-planned development because essentially, our image as a community is going to be created when people pull off the interstate and we want that to be very positive."
In order to keep the property at Rivercane attractive to not only developers, but to customers of the establishments that setup shop there, restrictive covenants will be enforced. Such covenants include underground utilities, no direct access off Hwy. 21, all streets being curbed and guttered, all underground storm waters, no ditches, "severe" restrictions on signage and landscaping requirements.
"We're going to severely restrict and have consistent signage, so that this thing comes across very professional and very organized," Corman said. "Through covenants and through the power that we're vesting in the Architectural Review Committee, we expect that we will have and be able to maintain a first-class development."
Corman said the second revision of Rivercane's restrictive covenants should be completed soon.
"We're not going to mandate a particular architectural style," Corman said.
There will be an Architectural Review Committee established that will have to approval all developers' landscaping plans, plot plans, exterior elevations and signage.
Also, property owners in Rivercane will all be a part of the Rivercane Owners Association, which is responsible for maintaining all common areas such as lakes, maintenance of the entrances, planting of the annuals, cutting of the grass and picking up litter.
"All of that will be funded through the Rivercane Owners Association," Corman said.
Recommendations for Architectural Review Committee members and passage of covenants will be addressed at 8 a.m. Thursday during the Atmore Industrial Development Board meeting.

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