STARKVILLE – Effective immediately, Edward Kemp will fill his father’s former role as general manager for Starkville’s supply division.
Kemp previously served as a city engineer but officially took up his new position Tuesday after the Starkville Alderman Board approved his hire at its regular meeting. Kemp’s father, Terry Kemp, retired at the end of March after 11 years of service as chief executive of SUD.
Edward Kemp, a Starkville native, said he is excited for the new opportunity. He wants to continue his public service work and be part of the city’s growth and development.
“I know I have big shoes to fill,” Edward said. “My father spent his entire career in public service through his work in the utility industry and it was a great opportunity to work with him personally and professionally while I was a city engineer.”
For the past 14 years, Edward has overseen the city’s engineering and highway departments, while also managing and planning more than $70 million in infrastructure-related improvement projects. As a city engineer, he has worked with SUD on numerous construction, modernization, maintenance and repair projects.
Before working for Starkville, Edward worked for Springer Engineering. He has served as State Director of the Tombigbee Chapter of the Mississippi Engineering Society since 2016 and has been a member of the Golden Triangle Solid Waste Authority since 2018.
“I’ve learned a lot during my time with the city and every day I work with people who take their responsibilities seriously and are always looking for ways to improve,” he said. “We know customers keep our work to a high standard and that will continue to be the focus of Starkville Utilities – serving customers with excellence.”
Mayor Lynn Spruill said the city has been impressed with Edward’s leadership, his track record and the positive relationships he has built throughout the community.
“We’re happy to have him,” Spruill said. “I was very pleased that he was interested in the job and he has proven to be extremely committed to the city and has good skills and work ethic which he brings to us. I know he will do an excellent job.”
The city will soon begin soliciting a new city engineer, Spruill said, initially with a potential interim engineer. The city will continue to have its own engineer overseeing the engineering and road departments.
Garbage Bag Extension
Trash bag pickup deadline has been extended for Starkville residents.
The city’s garbage bag disposal program donates 104 bags annually to each Starkville resident, included in the $17.50 monthly cleaning fee. Residents had until April 1 to collect their bags from the Starkville Sanitary Department, but the board voted to extend the collection date to April 29.
Hamp Beatty, Parish Councilor 5, said citizens had reached out to him asking for this extension because they had forgotten the deadline or circumstances prevented them from meeting it.
“The garbage bag thing has been publicized prominently on social media and on our website, but there are a few people who still haven’t picked up their bags,” Beatty said. “…I know we set a deadline, but I know some people had some limitations … there’s just some people who are going to be late to get stuff done.”
Although the vote passed unanimously, Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins questioned whether it was consistent with other city policies, particularly those with deadlines.
“I know that in the past we’ve been very strict about our deadlines,” Perkins said. “I can recall a situation where we had a school board applicant who was maybe a day or two late in submitting an application, submitting a letter of interest. We did not extend the deadline. This is a very important matter for our extension of the deadline.”
Residents can drop off their bags at the Sanitation Department office at 506 Dr. Pick up Douglas L. Conner Drive.
The city is considering expanding its leisure and recreation district onto Adkerson Way and onto College View and the College View development.
College View, a student residence complex in Starkville, recently added restaurants to its development and created a recreational area adjacent to its residential area. The board held its first public hearing on Tuesday to discuss bringing this new area into its leisure and recreation district to allow alcoholic beverages to be taken out of restaurants in to-go cups.
The city will vote on this at its next board meeting on April 19.
“Now people can come out of StaggerIn with a cup and stumble up the street,” Spruill said.