Forsyth County was awarded an $800,000 low-interest loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority on Tuesday.
The Georgia Reservoir and Water Supply Fund loan will finance testing, permitting and developing groundwater wells as a new water supply, according to a news release from the authority.
Forsyth County has 20 years to repay the loan with no interest during construction and 1 percent interest during repayment, the release states, adding that there is no closing fee.
County commissioners haven’t yet voted to accept the loan. They approved the application for it in May after the county’s water and sewer director, Tim Perkins, said preliminary tests showed some wells could yield up to 1 million gallons of water per day.
“Groundwater’s probably the cheapest source of water you’re going to get,” Perkins said. “If it’s of high quality, it’s minimal treatment, if any at all … There’s potential savings in the cost of supplying the water and we do still have a need for additional water supply.”
The county currently doesn’t use any wells, but sites in south Forsyth near the Chattahoochee River have shown favorable signs in initial testing, he said.
The Governor’s Water Supply Program presented a good opportunity to secure “very low interest” funding unavailable in the bond market, Perkins said.
In January 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal directed the environmental finance authority to develop and launch the Governor’s Water Supply Program and committed $300 million to it over four years, according to the release.