West Point city manager honored for years of service

Published 8:00 am Friday, October 27, 2023

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WEST POINT — West Point City Manager Ed Moon had an anniversary last Friday. October 19th marked the 18th year he had been the city manager in West Point. He came to the city several months before the announcement was made that Kia Motors would be building a $1 billion automobile manufacturing and assembly center in West Point. Kia coming here and the relocation of Atlanta Christian College to West Point in 2011 have been transformative. Now known as Point University, the four-year institution is located in the downtown area and is playing a big role in making West Point a lively place. Some 80 precent of the students compete in 19 different sports.

The opportunity presented by Kia and its suppliers along with Point University had its challenges but the rewards are obvious to anyone who has driven around town lately.

West Point has been a busy place for some time. It’s hard to find a parking place in downtown most of the time. People flock to many downtown restaurants, and there’s a lot going on most of the time.

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West Point is a significantly bigger place than it was when Moon came to town in 2005. The city is approximately three times bigger in size with some annexations that have taken place. The city’s population is bumping up on 4,000 people for the first time in its history. Some new businesses have located on both sides of Exit 2 on I-85. A ribbon cutting will be taking place on Thursday, November 9th to welcome Love’s Travel Plaza & Country Store as the newest business in West Point. A huge sign out front towers some 185 feet off the ground and can be seen from a good distance away on the Interstate.

Highway 18 is getting a new facelift with new bridges being built over Long Cane Creek and three new roundabouts to be constructed, two on I-85 and one at the junction of Highways 18 and 103.

Also located off Highway 18, West Point Villages offers affordable apartment living not far from I-85 and Kia Parkway. Off of 103, the Villages at Harris Creek is an expanding subdivision. The most recent annexation is behind the new Love’s. That site has great potential for growth.

The 600-acre Kia pad has brought several thousand jobs to the local area. This includes Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), Mobis, Glovis and Hyundai Transys.

Hyundai Transys has two transmission plants on the site and a car seat plant south on Kia Parkway.

The Northwest Harris Business Park, on West Point’s southeast side, is another significant employment zone.

All this has come since Ed Moon came here in 2005.

“West Point is so lucky to have him,” said Mayor Steve Tramell. “Ed is a consummate professional in every way. He has helped guide the city in the right direction and has the best interests of West Point at heart.”

On Friday afternoon, Council Members Dr. Joe Downs and Sandra Thornton were joined by City Clerk Richard McCoy and Assistant City Clerk Kristin Lester in thanking Moon for the work he’s done for the city in his 18 years here. They hosted a brief reception in the conference room at city hall. Dr. Downs went by one of downtown’s newest businesses, the Copper Carrot Bakery, to pick up some of their absolutely delicious cupcakes.

“I came here 18 years ago this weekend from Bowdon, Georgia,” Moon said. “I hit the ground running, but it’s been a really nice ride. I love it here in West Point.”

Moon moved here with his wife Michelle and their three daughters, Michette, Melinne and Merae. “We bought the downtown building where the Point University cafeteria is located today,” he said. “We lived upstairs for eight years and really enjoyed downtown living. My wife had a business downstairs.”

Back then, downtown West Point was very different from what it’s like today. “There was almost no one in downtown West Point after 6 p.m.,” he said. “We are so blessed to have so many really good restaurants in the downtown area now. Our three daughters had a very good experience in the Troup County School System and are doing well today.”

When Moon was being interviewed for the job as West Point’s city manager, what really sold him on coming here from Bowdon was the view of the Chattahoochee River from the council chamber. Similar views are afforded from the conference room and his office. “I remember asking members of the committee what I needed to be primarily focused on as city manager,” he said. “Sandra Thornton told me it was job creation, that jobs were a critical need for the local area. I think that’s happened here.”

Moon thinks the DOT projects on the east side of town and the coming of Love’s will spark some growth east of the Interstate. There could be a really nice development next to Love’s. A mixed use project similar to what’s being built near the new Chick-fil-A in LaGrange is being planned for that site. The roundabouts could be a big improvement as well. They are safer than conventional intersections, and there’s less waiting that what takes place at traffic signals.

Moon is a native of Kellyton, Alabama and a graduate of Faulkner University in Montgomery.

“I couldn’t have been in a better place for the last 18 years than right here in West Point,” he said.

He has served under three mayors. He was hired as city manager when Billy Head was mayor. He has also served under Drew Ferguson, the current congressman, and the present mayor, Steve Tramell.