Forsyth County Commissioners are looking for some help from Washington, D.C., to help end a 40-year battle to allow the county to get a water intake pipe in Lake Lanier.
Forsyth County Commissioners approved a resolution to request the local delegation and other federal government leaders “to assist Forsyth County in securing a redundant water intake into Lake Lanier for public health and safety purposes” by a 5-0 vote at a work session on Tuesday.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the county has been attempting to get such an intake since the late 1970s.
“It may be even older than this, but I know [documents show] 1977 is when I had seen our first discussion on it,” he said.
Jarrard said since that time the county has had several attempts to enter into a water-sewage contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the construction of an intake or an easement into the lake.
“All of them have a common theme, and that is set forth in the resolution as well, and that is they have been answered with no answer or ‘no,’” Jarrard said.
The county currently purchases its water from the city of Cumming, which has its own intake.
Commissioners are heading soon to Washington and are expected to meet with District 7 Rep. Rob Woodall and District 9 Rep. Doug Collins.
The resolution asks the delegation to look into “any and all” steps to assist the county.
“Anything would be better than where we are now and where we’ve been since 1977,” Jarrard said.
Tim Perkins, the county’s water and sewer director, said the county having its own intake could reduce costs.
“Potential savings just on the raw water — versus purchasing, versus the electricity and maintenance costs, chemical costs — from 2018-2022 would save roughly $13.9 million in costs,” he said. “The next 10-year period would be an additional … $32.8 million.”