Casino's fate sealed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Casino's fate sealed

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August 18, 2003

Dougherty County - The dim light of hope to save the Radium Springs Casino burns out. Monday, FEMA denied Dougherty County's second request to extend the deadline to demolish the landmark.

 The Casino must be torn down by December 31st. And this latest attempt to save the building has jeopardized the salvage of historical parts of the Casino.

"FEMA said if we plan to use their money to demolish this building, we must stick to the demolition deadline - period," said Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

In letter received by the county commission Monday, FEMA said "because sufficient time has been allowed to address the demolition of the casino, the request for an additional extension is denied."

"FEMA's main concerns was the lack of plans for the Casino. At this time, there are no concrete plans," said Sinyard.

The city planned to start salvaging historical pieces of the Casino on August 1st. The extension request delayed their project. And now, there may not be time to save some of those pieces. "We're definitely crunched for time," said City Engineering Manager Wes Smith. "We won't be able to save all the pieces we planned to save in the time allowed."

The city plans to start with the most important pieces - the front columns, door, windows, and porch. But, much of the cypress inside the Casino will likely be destroyed. "We'll work as fast as we can, but there's just no way to save everything," said Smith.

The city plans to start its salvage immediately. So even if an Act of Congress comes through, the building will already be picked apart.

The Radium Springs Casino Preservation Society would not comment on the request denial today other than to say they'll continue to try to find ways to save the Casino.

Posted at 4:50PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com