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New manufacturing business one step closer

Jul. 8—Council approves agreement with Zenner USA

The City of Huntsville took steps to bring Zenner, USA to Huntsville following their meeting on Wednesday, July 5. The vote was unanimous with City Council to allow the company $265,000 in incentives over the next 10 years.

Economic Development Director Tammy Gann told Council that she would also be working with the company to receive more incentives from Walker County in the future.

Zenner's Mexico Plant Manager Jorge Pacheco spoke during the meeting as well.

"We are going to be hiring around 50 people," Pacheco said. "We are going to start repairs on the property by Aug. 15, be done by early September and then start our hiring process where we will go live by Oct. 15."

Pacheco said the schedule is aggressive, but doable for the company.

"We are the world's largest water meter manufacturer, this is our 30th plant and only one in the United States," Pacheco said. "I look forward to making Huntsville home."

Mayor Andy Brauninger said the city looks forward to the working relationship.

Mayor Pro Tem Russell Humphrey made the motion to authorize the City Manager to enter into a Chapter 380 Agreement with Zenner to incentivize capital investment and job creation through a waiver of permit fees, grants of funds, and a financial incentive for job creation, with a second by Councilmember Vicki McKenzie. The vote was 7-0, with Councilmember Bert Lyle absent.

In the agreement presented to Council for approval, the company agrees to move their operations to Huntsville, at 1981 Quality Boulevard. The project will consist of the relocation of manufacturing operations to Huntsville from California — at an investment of $3.5 million and the creation of 50 new jobs.

The company accepts the City's grant of services in the form of waiver of development related fees, a financial grant equivalent to property taxes owed by the company due to the Project and a financial incentive for job creation.

Zenner has until Dec. 31, 2024, to create the 50 new full time jobs, and maintain those until Dec. 31, 2034.

The City's obligations include inspections and permitting without cost to the company during construction and until the final inspection; a grant in the amount of $75,000 for facility relocation assistance; $2,000 per new job up to $100,000 on or before Dec. 31, 2024; and a grant to pay City property taxes on $2,108,920 property accounts at 100 percent until 2034.

City Manager Aron Kulhavy said the city currently has three active 380 agreements.

In other business, the Council approved the cleanup of Chapter 42, Taxation, Article III, Hotel and Motel Occupancy Tax as discussed at the last meeting.

About Zenner USA

The Zenner Group, established in 1903, is solely focused on designing innovative metering products for the water and gas industry. This includes the manufacturing and development of water meters, gas meters, meter reading systems and submetering products as well as the support services required to implement and keep these systems relevant and functional throughout their lifecycle.

Zenner directly serves customers in over 100 countries through their certified manufacturing and assembly facilities located on every continent. It's U.S. production complex, located in Banning, Calif., allows their stable of products to be manufactured to meet "Buy America" standards.

By leading the way through world class engineering, manufacturing, and support, Zenner has evolved into the largest water, gas and meter automation manufacturer globally. In order to meet the precision needs of the utilities it serves, Zenner produces every type of metering technology required to accurately account and bill for the world's most precious resource, water.

In the field of Meter Reading Technology, Zenner is unsurpassed in its ability to develop systems that meet the unique needs of its customers.