FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46)- Through woods in a bucolic section of Forsyth County, could soon sit a new sewage treatment facility.

"I got the word and was obviously shocked."

Bo Slaughter's house sits on a stream that feeds into nearby Lake Lanier.

He and his neighbors are understandably upset. Nobody ever wants sewage nearby.

"If they had a raw sewage spill at this point they probably could not stop it before it got to the lake and it would be horrific," he worries.

Making matters worse he says, the county made a bid on the land before he and others could speak their mind.

So we went straight to the top of county leadership for answers.

"Could there be a leak? There could be," says Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt. "Its unlikely; we take a lot of steps to try and prevent it."

The county tells us commissioners voted to make an offer on the land in question in late September. And we learned the reason the public was kept in the dark, was intentional.

The county says they did it because land prices spike when sellers learn a governmental body is buying.

As for why that piece of land?

"This was an area that rose to the top for a few reasons," says Merritt. "One reason is, its adjacent to a future school, and that school will need treatment long term."

And he says, the space needed is too hard to find in more industrial areas.

Also, while the county made an offer, its not a done deal leaders say.

"During this due diligence period, we can back out of the contract."

Commissioners still have to vote to purchase the land, and vote to put the plant there.

Finally, after we pressed for community transparency, the county told us they plan to hold a town hall for residents before final votes to finalize this.

It will be held on December 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the county administration building in Cumming.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Chief Investigative Reporter

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