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County committee approves parks policy

Policy governs how the public can use the parks after-hours

Patrons enjoy lunch under one of the picnic shelters at Robert Cross Park Monday. The Dougherty County 
Commission’s Public Works Committee approved a parks policy governing how parks in the unincorporated county are managed.

Patrons enjoy lunch under one of the picnic shelters at Robert Cross Park Monday. The Dougherty County Commission’s Public Works Committee approved a parks policy governing how parks in the unincorporated county are managed.

ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County Public Works Committee agreed unanimously Monday to recommend a policy governing the use of the county’s parks to the full County Commission.

The move comes after county officials spent the last several weeks crafting a plan that Administrator Richard Crowdis said he believed would help encourage use of the facilities.

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County developing parks policy

Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis speaks to a new policy that will govern public use of the county's parks.

Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis speaks to a new policy that will govern public use of the county's parks.

“The public works committee of the County Commission has been considering and creating a parks policy in two meetings now. The parks policy is being created really because of the addition of Radium Gardens,” Crowdis said. “It’s good to have a policy. It’s good to have things in writing. It’s good to have a protocol for the commission of rules and regulations for any activity that the public is going to be engaged in.”

Specifically, the policy comes after the county has received requests to rent the Radium Gardens facility out for wedding parties — requests the county has had to deny because it has had no previous policy in place.

The policy approved Monday, which doesn’t go into effect until approved by the full commission, spells out how the public can use each of the county-owned parks in the unincorporated areas.

For Radium Gardens, the policy establishes hours of operations which are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. The park is closed for maintenance on Mondays.

For reservations, interested parties can rent the terrace areas of the park or the two greenspace areas of the park as early as 11 months from the date of the event. All reservations are on a first-come, first-paid basis.

The fee to reserve the Bluewater or Skywater Terrace is $100 per day, as is each of the two greenspace areas.

For after-hour events, patrons can reserve use of the entire park for $500 plus a $200 refundable cleanup or damage deposit. Events must end by 9 p.m. and a site visit before locking in a reservation is required with the director of public works.

Robert Cross Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is open from dawn until dusk seven days per week, 365 days per year.

Picnic shelters and uncovered tables are available for reservations. Picnic shelters are $40 for a day and uncovered picnic tables are $10 per day. Fishing at the pond is free, although state law requires a fishing permit and swimming is prohibited.

Putney Community Park is open every day from dawn until dusk and, like Robert Cross, picnic shelters can be reserved for $40 per day.