ALBANY — Initial funding for a $1.46 million renovation project at Radium Springs was approved on Monday during the first Dougherty County Commission meeting of the new year.

Commissioners unanimously approved funding totaling $474,234 for Phase I of the planned three-stage project. The money approved is for a trailhead at the former golf course whose trail eventually will extend to downtown Albany.

Artesian Contracting of Albany will perform the work, which includes the trailhead.

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“Time is of the essence for this,” Assistant County Administrator Scott Addison told commissioners. “Because we are receiving a $200,000 grant, we need to show progress.”

The overall plan, presented to commissioners in November 2019, includes a beach and volleyball area that would be in use for probably a limited number of weekends each year. It also includes the trailhead, for which the state contributed the $200,000 in grant funds.

Other items include a public library and community center/emergency/recreation area in Putney.

Other items in the plan, of which there are 25 in all, include gravel base and asphalt parking at a total estimated cost of $327,000, limestone block walls at $96,000, a pavilion renovation, repairing a concrete deck and construction of a wooden deck.

An audience member who spoke during the meeting encouraged commissioners to preserve the old water tank located in the Radium Springs area.

In other business Monday, commissioners:

♦ Approved the reappointment of Dougherty County Police Chief Kenneth Johnson. The extension runs through Jan. 4, 2021. Daniels replaced Jackie Battle as chief upon her retirement in June 2019;

♦ Reappointed County Administrator Michael McCoy through Jan. 4, 2021;

♦ Recognized Commissioner Lamar Hudgins as vice chair for 2020.

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