Mayor Costi Kutteh cites change in Year in Review
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013

Mayor Costi Kutteh cites change in Year in Review

Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh views the significant changes in the composition of the City Council, as well as senior city management, as some of the major developments in the city during 2013.

In his annual Year in Review address delivered at the City Council’s final 2013 meeting Dec. 16, Kutteh also said the proposed Love’s Truck Stop near Interstate 40, which is still not resolved, “dominated conversation around the city throughout the year.”

While Kutteh ran unopposed for his third term as mayor, half the council’s eight members chose not to run for re-election, creating the biggest change on the council in more than 30 years.

“How about four new members on the Statesville City Council,” Kutteh said. “We are excited of the work that will be done by Mike Schlesinger, Jarrod Phifer, William Morgan and Arnold Watt. We look forward to working together with them for the betterment of the community.”

He also noted that Larry Pressley became city manager, Dennis Hutchens was named fire chief and Kent Houpe took over as electric utilities director during 2013.

An unresolved issue Kutteh acknowledged was still on the front burner is the proposed Love’s Truck Stop near Interstate 40 Exit 154. The truck stop would be similar to the company’s facilities on interstates, including parking for trucks and cars, a 24-hour fueling station and tire shop, showers for truck drivers and restaurants.

“I have no idea when the matter may be resolved, but it has created considerable interest and feelings on many sides of the issue. From the city’s perspective, we have been diligent in doing everything within reason to make the site safer and more traffic-friendly should the final determination be that the truck plaza may be located at the proposed site.”

In a ruling dated Oct. 4, Judge W. David Lee reversed an earlier Statesville Board of Adjustment’s decision approving the proposal. A new round of hearings is expected in 2014.

Kutteh also mentioned a return visit during the year from Statesville native and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn. Marshburn returned to earth in 2013 after spending nearly five months aboard the International Space Station. In September, Marshburn visited his hometown, signing autographs and speaking with residents.

“He is a source of great pride for all of us,” Kutteh said. “He’s a great American, a great astronaut, and most importantly, a great Statesvillian.”

Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at

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