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$12.5M coming to help with Radium Springs improvements

Video from WALB
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - $69 million dollars is headed to Georgia and $12.5 million is coming to Dougherty County. This is part of the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure law.

On Thursday, White House, state, and local officials toured Radium Springs.

Local and state leaders met Thursday to discuss funding.
Local and state leaders met Thursday to discuss funding.(WALB)

Dougherty County Chairman Christopher Cohilas said after years of hard work this money is prayers answered.

“We got $12.5 million dollars today we’ve got a lot of money to spend for the benefit of our citizens and we’re going to spend every penny of it,” said Cohilas.

An estimated $5 million dollars will go towards the Albany State University (ASU) and Radium Springs concrete trails also known as the Flint River Trails.

The trails go from Radium Springs to ASU.
The trails go from Radium Springs to ASU.(WALB)

Around $2 million will go towards improving the gardens repairing the pavilion, creating a canoe launch, and improving parking and the overlook.

Cohilas said these improvements will help increase the property value of people who live nearby. Something the floods of 94, 98, and the 2017 tornado had a huge impact on.

He said they’re making the park what it should be. Cohilas said it’s important to understand the history behind Radium Springs, adding that before it was the county’s it was privately owned.

“And it was not accessible to our African American citizens. Now it is because it’s publicly owned. We are refurbishing it and connecting it with the trail system from here to ASU, which is an HBCU. The number of collaborative opportunities for students to come here and learn about soil and water conservation is phenomenal,” said Cohilas.

They plan on improving parking, the pavilion, and the overlook.
They plan on improving parking, the pavilion, and the overlook.(Dougherty County Government)

This money will also help with the spring’s water flow, in times of drought. They’re also investing about $3 million dollars into an amphitheater at the Radium Golf course.

″For us to be able to access $12.5 million, it really is a prayer that’s been answered,” said Cohilas.

Representative Sanford Bishop, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and White house infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu toured Radium Springs.

Announcing and explaining what $69 million will do for Georgia as a whole.

Bishop said the money will improve irrigation and water management for flood-related areas.

“So that the springs’ water flow can better support our agriculture and entire ecosystem by providing improved water quality for all of us,” said Rep. Bishop.

Around two million will go towards improving the gardens, creating a canoe launch and improving...
Around two million will go towards improving the gardens, creating a canoe launch and improving parking and the overlook.(Dougherty County Government)

The infrastructure bill will also help rural communities have better access to high-speed internet. Landrieu said this is the president’s way of leveling the playing field.

“By making sure that you have access to telemedicine you have access to precision forming access to entrepreneurship so that you don’t have to choose between your love and being with your family and where you need to work,” said Landrieu.

They are also starting a pilot program in five states, Georgia being one of them. The goal is to connect rural areas to Washington.

Vilsack said they’ll do that by placing people in communities.

“Not coming from Washington occasion but folks who are going to live here work here who are going to be the root system the connector,” said Vilsack.

They will help to identify federal resources to make communities’ visions happen.

They’re hoping to have those people in the community by May.

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