Pictured (from left) are Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh, City Clerk Brenda Fugett and City Manager Ron Smith.


After 14 years of service to the City of Statesville, City Clerk Brenda Fugett is retiring and returning to West Virginia.

Mayor Costi Kutteh expressed his appreciation for Fugett’s service during Monday’s council meeting.

“Brenda and I have spent a lot of time together,” he explained. “Some of those times were very good, funny and uplifting … some of them sad. But I would say that in all of those days, if you’ve been here, and I’ve been here, we’ve seen each other and I have enjoyed that.

“I’m trying not to be cliché and say things people always say, but Brenda means a lot to me and she has meant a lot to this city,” he added. “Brenda, I’m going to miss the heck out of you. You’ve been a joy to us. I want to thank you on behalf of the City Council and the City of Statesville for your service.”

Fugett said she enjoyed her time working for the city.

“Thank you, mayor, City Council and city staff. I can honestly say that there is no one I worked with that I didn’t like,” Fugett said during Monday’s council meeting. “I hope the people of Statesville know how fortunate you are to have these people that truly do care about what they do. It’s a wonderful city. I’m moving back to my roots in West Virginia, which is a lot like it is here. People are kind and nice, and it’s a lot like that here. Just keep doing that, keep taking care of your neighbors.”

River Hills Development

Despite vocal opposition from some nearby residents, the City Council voted to approve the second reading of the proposed rezoning for the River Hills Planned Urban Development area.

“These people out here are my neighbors, and they all came out here to tell you that they oppose this development,” Kenneth Robertson, who lives off White Apple Way, said during the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting. “This property is zoned as rural use, and the people who bought in it are expecting a rural, country life. But this development will radically alter that life.”

Robertson and five others spoke out against the proposed development, which will include single-family homes, multifamily units and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

“We have a farm out Highway 64,” June Reeves explained. “We understand growth, but we have cows. Cows get loose, they have a smell, there is manure. And we will border this development. It just doesn’t belong in this rural area. We are adding an estimated 1,000 people and our hospitals and schools are already full. Are we going to have sufficient services to accommodate these 1,000 people?”

The second reading passed with only Councilman C.O. Johnson voting in opposition, as was the case at the first reading.

Recognizing Line Workers, Telecommunicators

The mayor also proclaimed Lineworker Appreciation Day for April 18, noting that the thousands of hours lineworkers put in to achieve certification and the hard work of these employees are appreciated. They are a first responder when a service interruption has resulted from an accident or natural disaster.

In addition, April 14-20 was designated at National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week for the City of Statesville.

“Emergencies that require police, fire or emergency medical services can occur at any time,” Kutteh explained. “And when an emergency occurs the prompt response from these folks is critical to the protection of life and preservation of property. The safety of our community is dependent on the quality and accuracy of information obtained by our citizens. The telecommunicators are the single most critical contact our citizens have to emergency services, as well as the vital link for our police, fire fighters and paramedics by monitoring their activities by radio and providing them information and ensuring their safety.”


In his report to council, City Manager Ron Smith announced that Fire Station One is basically completed with a proposed ribbon cutting for the week of May 6.

♦ The Municipal Operations Center construction is progressing and concrete work is being completed now.

“Once construction starts,” he explained, “it really starts moving quickly.”

♦ The police department expansion project is moving forward with asbestos abatement completed on the three properties located at 124, 138 and 150 Front Street. Demolition is scheduled for two properties in the near future, Smith said.

Ground breaking for the Statesville Regional Airport project is expected to begin mid May. Current employees are being moved to temporary work sites in preparation for the beginning to construction.

♦ Giving credit to Parks and Recreation Director Richard Griggs, Smith announced the refilling of Bristol Park Pond as well as its’ restocking of fish and the addition of a fishing platform and walkway.

“This took a lot of work to get done and although it seems like a small project, it is one that I think the city should be very proud of,” Smith explained.

♦ Refinishing of Caldwell Park tennis courts will begin as soon as weather permits.

♦ The council’s budget workshop is tentatively set for two days the week of May 13.