Former mayor appointed to fill vacancy on Carrollton City Council

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Carrollton businessman Bill Welty is back in city government – for a few months.

The former mayor was appointed to City Council on June 23 to fill a vacancy left by David Wilhoite in June. Wilhoite resigned from council after he was appointed Carroll County coroner. He replaced Jimmy Dunn, who served as coroner for 28 years until his death May 20.

Welty served two terms as Carrollton’s mayor, once in the 1980s and again in the 1990s. Recently, he has been a member of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation, this year serving as board president. Welty is a Realtor and owner of Welty Enterprises on Highway 227, which sells manufactured homes.

“I agreed to accept the position because I have always felt strongly about the community,” Welty said.  “I like to serve and I would like to help make [Carrollton] a better community and make life easier for the residents.”

The term expires Dec. 31, 2008. The slot will be on the ballot in November, but Welty said he does not intend to run.

Mayor Dwight Louden said he is pleased that Welty agreed to serve. “Everyone [on council] felt Bill would be fine, because he has experience and can come right in and work.”

The deadline to file as a candidate for city council is Aug. 12.

In the meantime, Welty does plan to contribute through the end of his term.

“We need a clean community for people who live here and those who might move in and I would like to continue that effort,” he said.

On the subject of zoning issues discussed in Planning and Zoning and City Council over the last two years, Welty said he believes areas zoned for heavy industrial use, particularly on Fourth, Polk and Clay streets, which are mostly residential, should be revisited.

“The heavy industrial is definitely gone, and those changes need to be looked at,” he said.

In other business: Council last Monday voted on paving projects for the new fiscal year, which started yesterday, July 1. In the city, Public Works crews will be paving Main Street from Second to Fifth streets, for a projected cost of $26,398; Hawkins Street from Fifth to Sixth streets, $7,206; and Taylor Street from Eighth to Ninth streets, $1,549.

Crews also will be paving three streets in the Carrollton Village subdivision, Seminary, Carroll and Sycamore, at a total cost of $17,885.

Total cost of all projects is $53,038.

Council voted to postpone three projects to the next fiscal year: Fourth and Fifth streets from Highland Avenue to Main Street, and Court Street. Cost of those projects were estimated at a total of about $30,000.

Mayor Dwight Louden suggested postponing the Court Street repaving until next year. The city has, in the past, promised to level the street where previous paving projects have brought it higher than the sidewalks. The project will involve milling existing pavement to lower it back to sidewalk level, similar to last year’s project on Third Street.

Similar leveling is needed on Fourth and Fifth Streets. Because milling requires the city rent an expensive machine, the mayor and council agreed it would be prudent to rent the milling machine for the three projects at a time.

Louden said council will determine later what to do with the funding that had been earmarked for those three streets.


Staff writer Sharon Graves contributed to this report.