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Welch sworn in to Cumming City Council
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During their meeting the Cumming City Council also:

- Approved adding 30 streetlights to Lanier 400 Parkway. The lights will cost $85,000 and will be provided by Georgia Power.
- Awarded three bids for road paving to Jasper Grading and Pipeline, Inc. One will repave roads along from West Maple Street from State Route 20 to Kelly Mill Road and is worth $93,943. The other two will each be along Samaritan Drive with one running from State Route 20 to Professional Drive- at a cost of $36,350- and the other from Professional Drive to Hillcrest Way costing $70,614
- Ok’d a bid worth $3,715 to American Printing of Alpharetta for 25,000 tri-fold brochures and 3,000 16-page brochures to promote fall and winter programming activities.

For the first time in more than two decades, there is a new permanent face on the Cumming City Council.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, newly-elected councilman Chuck Welch was officially sworn in by Judge Richard Neville. Welch said that he enjoyed his first night on the council.

“I think it went great. I was excited to finally take office after the election in June and really excited about settling into the role and serving the people of the City of Cumming,” he said. “I’m excited about it and as I get a few more days in office under my belt, I’m sure I’ll look forward to learning more.”

Welch, a senior vice president with Community Business Bank, has been involved with the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Forsyth County and the local United Way. He is the first new member on the council since the early 1990s, and said that he appreciated those who came out to support him Tuesday.

“The City of Cumming has been great, because it’s been so stable,” Welch said. “So, I’m excited to be the first new councilman since the 1990s, and I hope I can do as good a job as the people who’ve had the position before me have done with it.

“I had a lot of friends and family show up, and I appreciate that they took time to come support me, it was a special day. I’m glad that they were a part of it.”

Welch is also a second generation councilmember. His father, the late Charles Welch Sr., served on the city council from 1973 to 1986 before also serving on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.

“It means a lot,” he said. “He loved the City of Cumming and he instilled that into us when we were growing up and I love my hometown. This is something that I’ve thought about doing for a long time and I’m glad I get the opportunity to take the role.”

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said that he and the city council were excited to work with Welch and hoped he would carry on his father’s legacy.

“Chuck’s father was on the city council several years ago,” Gravitt said. “He was a great councilman, and we’re glad to see that Chuck is going to be serving the city. I know he’ll do an admirable job of serving the citizens of Cumming and Forsyth County.”

Welch was elected in June after a special election was held to fill the vacant seat of Rupert Sexton, who stepped down from the position in June to enjoy retirement after holding the seat since 1971. Welch will fill Sexton’s unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2017.

The election to fill the seat was a close one, with Welch, who received 30 percent of votes, beating runner-up Linda Ledbetter by only 19 votes, she totaled 25 percent of votes, with the remaining candidates, Roger Crow and Julie Tressler, each getting 22.5 percent of the votes.

The election was the first to contested election in the city since 2003, when Gravitt faced opposition.

In the time between Sexton stepping down and Welch’s swearing in, former Forsyth County Clerk of Courts Doug Sorrells held an interim position on the council for their May and June meetings.

Looking ahead, Welch said he hopes that during his time on the council the city will be in good shape for a long time.

“I think we just need to make sure that we stay forward thinking and that we manage our financial resources, continue t6o manage our resources the right way as changes occur and just make sure that we make the right decision to take care of the City for the next 50 or 100 years. ”