Ideas for the future of Radium Springs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ideas for the future of Radium Springs

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police officer involved in Albany crash

    Police officer involved in Albany crash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:49:11 GMT
    APD says the Ford Crown Victoria driven by Officer James King,  27, was hit by the Impala, driven by Latricia Williams, 44.More >>
    APD says the Ford Crown Victoria driven by Officer James King,  27, was hit by the Impala, driven by Latricia Williams, 44.More >>
  • APD offers Open and Empty Initiative

    APD offers Open and Empty Initiative

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:11:29 GMT
    New signs are part of a new initiative started by the Albany Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit to encourage businesses to empty cash register drawers at the close of business and then leave the register open.More >>
    New signs are part of a new initiative started by the Albany Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit to encourage businesses to empty cash register drawers at the close of business and then leave the register open.More >>
  • Duplex on fire again after molotov cocktail attack

    Duplex on fire again after molotov cocktail attack

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:23 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:23:03 GMT
     Firefighters are investigating another fire at an Albany duplex on that was hit earlier this week with a molotov cocktail.
    Fire crews were called to the duplex in the 600 block of West Gordon Avenue around 6 Wednesday morning.
    More >>
     Firefighters are investigating another fire at an Albany duplex on that was hit earlier this week with a molotov cocktail.
    Fire crews were called to the duplex in the 600 block of West Gordon Avenue around 6 Wednesday morning.
    More >>

February 16, 2004

Dougherty County - Generations of South Georgians enjoyed the natural wonder of Radium Springs and the manmade beauty of the historic casino. The flood-damaged building was demolished late last year. And now, the area is off-limits. That will change eventually. Monday, nearly 50 people attended a hearing on the future of the property.

Radium Springs washes 79 year-old Dewey Parkman with a river of memories. "I drove past Radium Springs for 30 years. I love that place," said Parkman.

Parkman doesn't want the Georgia wonder to remain fenced in. So, he and more than 40 others told County and DNR leaders their hopes for the site. "Let's build it back," said Parkman. He wants to build a replica of the Casino including an amphitheater overlooking the Springs and a second floor ballroom. "You can ride up and down the road, you can go upstairs and there's the ballroom. Same as it always was."

But, the building would have to be elevated out of the flood plain which would be a costly project. Parkman proposed adding a moveable gift shop and eatery to pay the bills. "Tax payers don't have any money, the state doesn't have any money, the county doesn't have any money. We must get tourist, we must provide for tourist that they key," said Parkman.

But, most of the people at the hearing don't want the land commercialized. They suggested walking trails, an outdoor classroom for aquatic education, and maybe a hatchery for the native bass.

The Radium Springs Casino Preservation Group lost the battle to save the Casino. But, they are still fighting for their proposal to create a botanical garden on the site. "There's one in Athens, Atlanta, and Columbus. But, there's not one in South Georgia," said group member Marion Hay.

Indigenous plants would shape the landscape. And group members say since the state owns most of the land, state money should pay for the project. "We think the money to develop, revitalize, and claim it can come from the State of Georgia and all the taxpayers. All taxpayers can come and enjoy it," said Hay.

After listening to the ideas, County commissioners decided to hire a consultant to create a land use plan. "We want them to come in and take some of the ideas our citizenry gave, along with having some other hearings and getting together certain groups," said Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

The County will pay the consultant with FEMA money left over from the demolition cost. County leaders don't know exactly how much money remains, but they say it's ten of thousands of dollars.

Posted at 5:05PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com