Tim Perkins received recognition from the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4, for his retirement as director of the county’s water and sewer department.
Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt presented the award along with giving a speech about Perkins’ accomplishments and contributions to Forsyth County throughout his 33-year career.
“Tim has been described as having the highest ethical and moral standards. He will always do what is legal, ethical and fair in every situation regardless of who is involved,” Merritt said. “He is an exceptional leader and sets an example for all of his employees and everyone who meets him.”
Perkins started his service to the county in 1988, beginning as the assistant county engineer in the public works department. Perkins was promoted to assistant director of public works before taking the job as the director of the water and sewer department in 1995.
Perkins began his directorship with 10,000 water customers, 700 sewer customers, about 20 employees in the department and about $40 million in assets. Since his administration, Perkins worked to increase the county’s numbers to 65,000 water customers, 35,000 sewer customers, 140 employees in the department and $840 million in assets.
The county’s first and only water treatment plant was completed in 2000, with Perkins overseeing the project. The plant has since won eight awards, with four awards for best-tasting water, best-operated plant and multiple GAWP gold awards.
During his career, Perkins also worked closely with the Georgia EPD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to obtain a water withdrawal permit.
“[Tim Perkins’] efforts have paid off, as we are close to obtaining this permit which will allow us to construct our first intake water pipe in Lake Lanier,” Merritt said. “The intake will help ensure customers that they will always have the water they need in the future.”
The county’s first water reclamation facility, Fowler Water Reclamation Facility, was completed in 2004 during Perkins’ career. The county then purchased five other wastewater facilities throughout the county. Each of these facilities have been recognized in a total of 16 times, with the collection system being recognized four times. The awards given to these facilities include GAWP Plant of the Year, multiple GAWP Gold Awards, EPA Operation Maintenance Award and multiple Plant of the Year Awards.
“These awards are valued by the water professionals across Georgia, and the competition for the awards is pretty tough,” Merritt said.
Perkins has also volunteered his time and served on multiple committees at GAWP.
At an annual GAWP conference in 2018, Perkins was inducted into the Society of Select Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) and received his Gold Shovel, which recognizes “outstanding meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty.”
Perkins won other awards from GAWP for his outstanding leadership, member recruitment, technical distribution, training, encouragement and support. Perkins was also recognized for his superior level of service in the Forsyth community.
He has also been part of many other groups and committees during his career, such as the Upper Chattahoochee Basin Group, the Upper Etowah River Alliance and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders. Perkins also serves his church as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher.
While Perkins has accomplished a great deal on the waste and water front, Perkins said his most proud accomplishment is his family. His wife of 39 years, Michelle, his sons, their wives and children were present during Perkins’ recognition and award ceremony.
Merritt said to those that were present that Perkins has a particular penchant for mischief, and that he often put employees up to fun pranks.
“[Perkins is] a prankster, and he enjoys making people laugh,” Merritt said.
Merritt concluded his speech by presenting Perkins with the award. The plaque was inscribed with the words, “with appreciation and gratitude for your dedication and loyalty to Forsyth County government.”
A medley of songs and PowerPoint were prepared with photos of Perkins and his employees after the award presentation. Kristy McKee, Michelle Pirkle and Ronnie Grizzle, administrative supervisor for the Water and Sewer Department sang the water and sewer related songs they had written to popular tunes while a pre-recorded track by Joey Pirkle played.
Perkins left the meeting surrounded by his family and a standing ovation for his 33 years of service.
“We want to thank you [Tim Perkins] for all that you’ve given of yourself and your life to Forsyth County,” Chairwoman Cindy Jones Mills said. “From all of us up here [on the board] we want to thank you. We just appreciate you, and we’re thankful that we’ve had you as long as we have, and I know all of your employees have all thought so much of you. We’re grateful, and we want you to enjoy your retirement.”