Tant named to head Columbus Water Works

The Columbus Water Works Board voted Monday to promote Bob Tant to president and chief executive officer.

Tant has been with the Water Works for more almost 20 years. He came to Columbus from the Atlanta Water Works. While in Columbus, he has been vice president of sewer services and vice president of water services. He is currently executive vice president. For the last three years, Tant has also been the director of the Strategic Planning Implementation Division.

He takes over President Billy Turner, who will retire Jan. 8, exactly 20 years after he started in Columbus. Turner announced his decision in February, giving the board nearly a year to find a replacement.

"I appreciate the confidence the board has shown in me," Tant said. "I look forward to the challenge."

Tant, 63, had previously announced he was going to retire at the end of the year, but he did say at the time he would reconsider that decision if the board members thought he was the right person to replace Turner.

"My first thought was not to apply," Tant said. "But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I had something to offer. I thought the best thing to do was to make myself available and go through the process."

The board considered internal and external candidates.

"The board is impressed with his extensive experience, his proven leadership in the community, and the passion he brings to the Water Works," a statement read.

Turner and Tant have worked closely as a team for two decades. Turner has been in the more high visibility position, while Tant has worked behind the scenes.

"Clearly Billy and I have worked close together on a number of things," Tant said. "When it comes to speaking for the Water Works, there can be only one voice. There is no question Billy was that voice. I think I can fill that role without too much trouble."