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      Dougherty County Public Works discusses park reservations

      The Public Works Department worked hard to make Radium Springs one of the most beautiful places in Albany.

      Now, people want to share their special moments in an equally special setting.

      Under sprawling leaves dripping with moss lies Radium Springs. The largest natural spring in the state, it was a popular spa and resort. A casino was built nearby in the 1920s, however the floods of ~94 and ~98 destroyed it, and it was later voted by the commission to refurbish the springs and build a botanical garden.

      The water is down right now but the park itself and the gardens are just beautiful and we've had a lot of requests for special events, says Dougherty County Public Works Director Larry Cook.

      With the increase in traffic to the park and interest in reserving it, members of the public works committee knew they had to form a park policy.

      And you want to have a written policy and officially adopted by the commission so it will stand scrutiny and people would know what's expected of them and what they actually can and cannot do at the park, says Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis.

      Workers have spent the last year implementing phase one, cleaning it out, planting the botanical gardens and laying down sod. So it's no wonder why people want to hold their activities here in one of the most historic places in Albany.

      Commissioner Jack Stone took his wife to her junior/senior prom at Radium and remembers lazy days by the water.

      And all around the banks people would be laying, it was real sandy just like a beach. People laying with their towels all around and have grills out there cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, I mean it was a playhouse for Dougherty County, says Stone.

      To reserve a portion of the park during operating hours, the cost is $100. To reserve it after hours, the cost is $500 plus a $200 refundable damage deposit.

      The committee will meet again in two weeks to form a proper recommendation and will present it to the County Commission for approval September 19.