DOUGHERTY CO., Ga. (WALB) - It’s called one of the state’s seven natural wonders and for the James family, Radium Springs has been a part of their neighborhood for more than a decade.
“Well, we’ve been over here, staying on this side for about 10 to 13 years,” said Patricia James.
Patricia and her son Isaiah have lived in their house on Holly Drive for years now. It’s where she’s raised her youngest kids and spent some of their happiest moments.
But January 2017′s storms changed that for the James family.
“It’s really just now coming back to life. It’s been two years but it was real terrible out here,” said Patricia.
The storms destroyed the homes, streets and businesses in the Radium Springs area. Now construction has begun to repair the damage.
“I’m very excited to know that our money, our tax payer money, is going to what we want it to go to,” said Patricia.
With the help of a state grant, Dougherty County commissioners approved spending $2 million to repair the garden, park, roads and sidewalks.
“I love seeing different people come in on their lunch breaks. Anytime of the day, you’re always going to see someone out here walking and using the equipment out here,” Patricia explained.
Construction crews are making their way through the different neighborhoods in the area. Dougherty County Public Works is even looking to replace the old and worn fence around the garden with more than 4,000 feet of a white picket fence that will be built out of a durable, weather proof material.
“I think it’s going to be even more of a blessing to see more monies put towards this and fixing it up and adding more things to it,” said Patricia.
The Radium Springs Repair Project is expected to take several months to complete and there’s another project in the works, as well.
The Radium Springs Memorial will stand 12 feet tall.
It will have the names of the five Dougherty County people who lost their lives during the January storms etched into it.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the $265,000 project was held back in January.
“I think the families will enjoy seeing that, knowing that somebody cares. It makes a difference,” said Patricia.
Construction hasn't started yet, but it will take about 12 months to complete.
The county is still in the bidding process for an architect.
Public Works crews said the project is so detailed they need a special architect for the job.