Advisory Roundtable Recap: Forsyth County’s Barry Lucas

Forsyth Advisory Roundtable Recap
November 8th, 2023
Speaker: Barry Lucas, Assistant County Manager, Forsyth County

On Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, The Council for Quality Growth welcomed Barry Lucas, Assistant County Manager of Forsyth County, to November’s Forsyth Roundtable. Thank you Barry for your time and thank you Hussey Gay Bell for sponsoring the event.

Barry has spent 27 years working on projects for Forsyth County. Recently taking on the role of Assistant County Manager, he now oversees six “heavy infrastructure” departments — Water & Sewer, Engineering, Capital Projects, Fleet Services, Public Facilities, and Solid Waste & Recycling — with 272 full-time employees. His operations utilize a $120mm annual operating budget and enact $200mm in capital investments.

As the previous Director of Forsyth’s Water and Sewer departments, Barry specializes in water. Forsyth County sits on nearly half of Lake Lanier and naturally focuses on a lot of water projects. Barry discussed the county’s intake, treatment, and reclamation processes regarding Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River, and highlighted some “once in a lifetime” water-related capital projects like the $145mm Lanier Raw Water Intake and the $127mm Fowler Return Flow to Lanier.

Other capital projects discussed were related to Fleet Services, Public Facilities, Solid Waste & Recycling, and a mobile app. Notably, Barry outlined plans for the GA400 interchange renovations at State Route 369. He also showed renderings of the Freedom Campus Admin Building that is slated to break ground in 1Q 2024. The construction will include a gym, health building, retail spaces, and other amenities.

Barry then set the stage for December’s Forsyth Advisory Roundtable by discussing The Gathering development. He mentioned it has been through the DRI process and soon will sit with the board for funding plans. The Forsyth Chamber is also creating an economic impact report. A special tax allocation district is expected.

During Q&A, the audience asked about the future widening of SR400, to which Barry responded, “the TSPLOST failure really hurt us.” A SPLOST IX is expected in November 2024, he said, as well as a TSPLOST in 2025.

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