FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A presence in the county for decades was honored by Forsyth County officials at the Feb. 4 Board of Commissioners meeting. Tim Perkins, who has worked as the county’s Water and Sewer Department director for the past 25 years, was sent off into retirement with fanfare.
The meeting featured a slideshow of Perkins over the years, county officials outlined his service to the county, and a trio of singers harmonized tunes in his honor.
Perkins officially retired Feb. 3, just a few weeks from his 33rd anniversary with the county.
He originally joined the county with the Public Works Department as an assistant county engineer and later served as the assistant Public Works director. In 1995, Perkins took over as Forsyth’s second Water and Sewer Department director. He has held the post since.
In an interview with Board of Commission Chair Cindy Jones Mills in “The County Spotlight,” a new initiative from the county to highlight its employees, Perkins said Forsyth County had about 10,000 water customers in 1995. That figure has now grown to about 66,000.
“The first sales tax program in 1998 started extending water throughout the rural areas of the county, and it really exploded after that,” he said.
Perkins touched on the radical changes in technology and environmental oversight during his tenure, and said what is perhaps most surprising in that time is how the county has been able to sustain its high quality of life.
Perkins leaves the county on the precipice of what he called a great accomplishment — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state drawing up a contract to allow the county to pull water from Lake Lanier. The county has been seeking a contract for 35 years, Perkins said, and after years of roadblocks, it appears the county can become self-sufficient in providing water to customers. It will also provide a more “resilient” supply and keep rates under control.
Perkins said he would like to travel in his retirement and spend more time with family, and he appreciates his time with the county.
“The county is in good hands with the staff we have, and they will continue to take care of our citizens,” he said.
After the retirement ceremony, Perkins made his exit before the end of meeting for perhaps the first time in decades, a point not lost on commissioners who said, for once, he didn’t have to stay.
Earlier that day, the county named another longstanding employee, Barry Lucas, as the interim Water and Sewer director.
Lucas previously served as deputy director for the Forsyth County Water & Sewer Department since 2002. He began work for the county in 1996.