Starkville Utilities debuts new Operations Center to expand water, electric and other services to customers

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday afternoon, Starkville Utilities held an official opening ceremony to debut its new state-of-the-art Operations Center.

They invested nearly $2 million to unite their water, electric and other services in one place.

“Having everybody in one location, utilizing shared facilities, shared resources, will help us and make us more efficient and make us more responsive to our customers,” says general manager Edward Kemp.

The renovation project added 10,000 additional square feet for new offices, warehouses for both the electric and water divisions and expanded storage for raw materials.

“We also added all of our procurement, from materials and purchasing, for these different entities here in this location,” Kemp says. “As well as the administrative staff that helps communicate and does all the backend work on our work orders and making sure that those are completed and closed out.”

Which means cutting down on the time it takes utility crews to fix a broken water main or respond to a downed power line.

“This facility will help us to do all of those things,” Kemp says. “It provides a place for our employees to do the work that they need to do, to house the materials and equipment that we need to do the work.”

The new building also features an expanded motor pool and a war room that will be used for training drills and large-scale emergencies.

“When it gets fully operational and functional, we’ll have all the state-of-the-art touchscreens and real-time digital displays,” Kemp says.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill says the new operations center also helps raise the profile of the city as a whole.

“It shows who we are by having newer facilities and facilities that the employees can be proud of and allow them to function better,” she says. “So I think this is a long-time in the making.”

Construction on the revamped operations center started in September 2021. Since the project was funded through its capital budget, Starkville Utilities says the upgrades will not affect customer rates.

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