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franklin county times

Cummings envisions water park, more jobs, utility drop-off point for city

Gary Cummings
Gary Cummings

“I think we’ve accomplished a lot this time, and we have a lot of things coming at us,” said Councilman Gary Cummings. It’s that progress to this point that drives Cummings to run for four more years of serving District 3.

Future projects abound, from Cummings’ perspective. “The last four years, with everything we have done, we have tried to change the perception of this town. And we’ve accomplished some of that,” Cummings said. “I’d like to see some more jobs come in. I’d like to be a part of that.” He said he would also like to work toward establishing a water park in the City of Russellville.

Cleaning up the city is another priority, and Cummings said one of his ideas is to establish a “utility drop-off point” at the National Guard Armory, where people could deposit old appliances, building materials and the like, to keep these items off the residential streets and keep the roadways looking more well-kempt.

“That’s one way I’d like to see us address cleaning things up,” he said. The other important element will be implementing a compliance officer. “You need to have one person responsible for compliance, and if we have a question about why something hasn’t been done, we go to that person,” Cummings said. This arrangement would create greater accountability in regards to compliance.

A top priority is maintain the progress the city has achieved thus far. “Progress is hard to come by now,” Cummings said. “And once you get it, it’s hard to keep. It’s a never-ending process.” Maintaining includes continue to foster good working relationships with industries so they continue to operate in Russellville and provide jobs for the citizens, as well as work diligently to continue to create a positive industrial environment to attract new businesses.

Cummings is a born and raised Russellville citizen, and he said it’s a passion for his community that inspires him to serve.

“I care. I love this town. I love the people here,” Cummings said. “I’ve lived my whole life right here. My dad loved this place. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Cummings said his ultimate goal is to “see everybody here happy and satisfied and content with our town.” “I think that’s pretty much how most people are here – they want to see us go forward and be a clean neat town like it used to be,” Cummings said.

He takes pride in the major strides the city has taken in paving city streets, utilizing ATRIP funds, and one of his proudest accomplishments is the Jam on Sloss Lake, which he initiated and has coordinated for the past eight years.

“That’s been one of my babies,” said Cummings. He’s see the Jam as one of the events that is changing the image of Russellville. “After I’m dead and gone, I hope they keep that going. It’s a lot of work, but somebody needs to do it. So many people enjoy that, and it brings a lot of people into our town.”

He is married to Barbara, and they have four sons: Gary and Cory Cummings and Brian and Brett Hall. They have nine grandchildren. He is a member of the Russellville Church of God, Muscle Shoals Songwriters Association, former member of the Local 915 United Steelworkers Union out of Huntsville and an employee of Russellville Utilities.

“I’m a hard worker. I’m honest. I care about our town, and I care about you,” Cummings said. “I’m always going to try to do what’s right, no matter what. And I want to be in your corner. That’s not only District 3. That’s every district.”