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Forsyth is beginning a water and wastewater improvement project that will give the city a capacity of 5 million gallons of water per day. The improvements will double the city’s available water. Cost of the project is estimated at $14,914,240 for water and $14, 419,380 for wastewater.

The project will be funded primarily by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Part of the funds will be a loan, and part will be a grant. City water and sewer engineer Carl Hofstadter of Hofstadter & Associates said the application for the USDA funds are complete. The preliminary engineering report and the environmental impact report for the project have both been approved by USDA. He said USDA has indicated funding will be approved in the first quarter of 2021.

Hofstadter said he and Forsyth have been working on the water and wastewater project for about two years and it will take another two-three years to design and complete it. The project includes dredging the city’s Tobesofkee reservoir to create more water storage and rehabilitating the Russellville water treatment plant so that it can handle 4 rather than 3 million gallons of water per day.

The city will run a new 16-inch raw water main from the reservoir to the Russellville plant and another 16-inch main from Russellville to downtown Forsyth to increase capacity. A booster pump that is already in place at Bunn Road will be part of the project.

Hofstadter said for the wastewater portion of the project, the city will rehabilitate the Northeast wastewater plant and the South wastewater plant. The city now has a capacity of 2-and-a-half million gallons per day.

The city held an open meeting on Jan. 12 for questions and comments from the public about the water and wastewater improvement projects and their economic and environmental impact, service area and other issues such as alternatives to the project. The meeting was required as part of the USDA Rural Development application. No one attended except representatives of Hofstadter & Associates and Forsyth city manager Janice Hall.