Kent Houpe, a 26-year Statesville employee, has been chosen to be the city’s new electric utilities director.Houpe had served as interim director since July 2013, following the retirement of the director Larry Cranford. Houpe assumes the $95,464 position immediately.“I look forward to heading up this department for many years to come,” Houpe said. “I work with a great team of employees with a commitment to putting our customers first.”Statesville’s Electric Department encompasses some 31 employees with an annual budget of $48.8 million. The department provides electricity to more than 13,000 customers, and is one of the oldest municipal utilities in the state.Houpe was selected for the post by City Manager Larry Pressley, and, pursuant to the city manager form of government, it did not require City Council approval. “Kent served well during the interim period,” said Pressley. “He has the most knowledge about our electric system and I’m confident he will lead the department well and serve the customers competently and skillfully on a permanent basis.”Houpe was hired in 1987 as the department’s assistant director and has worked for the city ever since, overseeing many major projects, including installation of the SCADA system (used to monitor and control the entire electric system), construction of two delivery stations and developing plans for an automated metering system.Houpe, 51, is a Statesville native who graduated from UNC Charlotte in 1987 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in engineering technology. After working part-time for the city his senior year, he was hired by Cranford as assistant director. Houpe expressed great appreciation for what he called “a longtime partnership” with Cranford. “He treated me like a partner and kept me involved in all the projects. I know our system so much better because of his willingness to allow me to work closely with him.”Houpe lives in Statesville with his wife, Leslie, and two daughters, Rebecca and Heather.Houpe is looking forward to automating the meter reading system and finding new ways to enhance the department’s operations. “There are a lot of technological advances that we are looking at for Statesville, but providing reliable and affordable power on a daily basis is our primary goal always,” said Houpe.
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Houpe named head of Statesville electric utilities
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at email@example.com.
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