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Curles will replace Annapolis manager next month

Annapolis Water District General Manager Dennis Coburn will retire next month after 40 years in the water industry, 13 of which he spent at Annapolis.

He will be replaced by Larry Curles.

Although Coburn will officially retire March 31, he will step aside March 7 to allow Annapolis newcomer Curles to get a feel for the job.

“Since he came here, Larry’s pretty much been updating the water system comprehensive plan,” Coburn said.

According to Coburn, the work gives Curles a lot of background about the advanced operations and goals of the water district. Experience, he said, that will make the transition between the two men easier.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Curles said.

Curles’ position as general manager was confirmed by the district’s board of commissioners, but Coburn acknowledged Curles was intended for the position since he came to work for Annapolis last summer.

“It was the commissioners’ decision, but I was very much in support of it,” Coburn said.

Curles, 55, had been with the city of Port Orchard for more than 23 years before he joined Annapolis in July. A self-professed “Army brat,” he served as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers and said he enjoyed his first taste of the Pacific Northwest after being stationed near Fort Lewis.

After his stint in the Army, he worked for six months in Bellevue before being hired by the city in September of 1981.

Curles’ experience extends back to his schooling, where he focused primarily on hydraulics. He said last July he was excited to be working in his preferred field.

He said he has no real plans to make changes in the district — yet.

“I’m going to carry on the programs he established,” Curles said. “I feel very honored to join in that.”

During his tenure, Coburn has reportedly kept the district “strong and healthy,” facilitating several major projects and facilitating various technical upgrades.

Coburn said that although he has given thought to running for the district’s board of commissioners after retiring, he’s decided not to.

“I’ve thought about it, but probably not,” Coburn said. “I’ve decided the new general manager doesn’t need the old general manager looking over his shoulder.”

Curles will be managing a company with an annual revenue of approximately $2 million.

Annapolis currently has almost 6,000 connections serving 18,000 people. The district pumps more than 600 million gallons of water every year.

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