CORNELIA – Former District 50 State Sen. John Foster said he never imagined a local city would name a facility for him, but that is exactly what happened after Foster helped the City of Cornelia obtain funding for its new reservoir and water treatment plant on Camp Creek Road.
In October, city leaders recognized Foster with a small ceremony at the opening of the new facility, but the plaque dedicating it was not available.
On Thursday, Foster was able to be there as city officials unveiled the plaque honoring him.
“Something like this is a great honor,” Foster said. “I never thought about having anything named after me because I don’t know that I’m worthy of it and I’ve never sought that, but this was a complete surprise.”
Cornelia Mayor John Borrow said Foster was the obvious choice for the honor because of all he has done and continues to do for the area and the city.
“With public buildings, it’s the custom to dedicate them to somebody, some entity, that’s had a huge impact,” Borrow said. “When we were talking about the water plant for the City of Cornelia, something that’s going to serve our community for generations – 50 to 100 years to come maybe – there was one obvious choice: Sen. John Foster, who lives in North Georgia. He has a business in Cornelia. He’s had a commitment to North Georgia for longer than most of us have been alive, so it was a no-brainer on who to dedicate the facility to. We’re just glad to be able to honor and recognize him for his contributions to our community and to our state.”
Foster provided more insight of how the naming came about, though he had no idea at the time that was even a possibility.
“The way they made this decision is because whenever Gov. Deal was elected, I was able to contact him and also his staff that was handling this sort of issue and he gave me permission to talk with them. I knew the City of Cornelia had been waiting for years to try to get this grant so they could go forward with this project.”
Foster said the direction Cornelia is going and the progress being made in the city is commendable.
“I’m extremely pleased with the leadership of Cornelia and the way they’re doing things,” Foster said. “They’re looking to the future for years in advance and that’s what you need to do.”
In 2020, the city opened its new city hall/police station, as well as the new water treatment plant and reservoir. In the coming weeks, the city will occupy the new headquarters fire station on South Main Street.