In our area if I come out to shut your water off (I work for the water utility) and the curb stop breaks the owner has to pay to repair it. Just an FYI and something to check into before you have the utility operate it.
If that's not a concern, then I totally agree, cut in a ball valve where you can see the water coming into the house. Don't cheap out and get a gate valve - too many problems can go wrong with those. Ball valve, while more expensive, is definitely the way to go.