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Radium Gardens to open Monday

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The final touches are being made on a sales tax project to beautify and transform a former Dougherty County landmark into a lush botanical garden.

Phase 1 of the Radium Springs Gardens project will officially open to the public Monday afternoon following a tour by Dougherty County Commissioners.

The $830,000 project incorporates the footprint of the Radium Springs Casino, which was demolished after sustaining significant damage during the floods of 1994 and 1998, into its design and plays host to flora both indigenous and exotic.

As workers scrambled Wednesday to finish the project, county leaders discussed adopting a parks policy that will ultimately govern the use of the facility and other county parks.

The Public Works Committee of the County Commission met Wednesday morning to review a preliminary draft of parks policy to regulate the use of the Radium Springs Gardens, Robert Cross Park, the Putney Community Park and the Elliot Street Park.

The policy establishes hours of operation, reservation fees for pavilions, shelters and tables, and responsibilities of patrons attending the parks.

For Radium Gardens, the preliminary hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., although committee members discussed possibly changing the closing time to incorporate longer summer days by using dusk instead of a time.

For Robert Cross, that language is already incorporated into the policy, with the only significant difference being the establishment of park fees, which have preliminarily been set at $25 to rent a park shelter and $10 for uncovered picnic tables.

Fishing is allowed at the park for free.

The committee will review the recommended policy presented Wednesday by Public Works Director Larry Cook and Assistant Director Chuck Mathis and vote to make a recommendation to the full County Commission.