Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 4, 2013

Council hears pitch

Argon requesting expansion package to consolidate workforce

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens City Council received a report at its workshop Wednesday concerning the expansion package the Athens Economic Development Corporation has prepared for Argon Medical.

The council is expected to vote on the package at the next regular council meeting, set for Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the city hall annex. The AEDC board approved a $106,433 grant for the company.

AEDC President Brian Malone said the board is pleased to see Argon consolidating its operations and moving more of its medical instrument manufacturing plant from out of state to the Athens facility. The move means 60 new employees in Athens will be added to the current 224.

The company is making renovations to its Athens location and will bring in equipment from its Gainesville, Fla., plant and from Denmark.

The value of the new equipment, Malone said, is approximately $1.1 million and the value of the inventory is projected to jump by $5 million. Malone expects Argon to add about $1.4 million to its payroll.

“The board is excited to see a good company like Argon continue to grow and have a good presence,” Malone said.

Malone said most of the jobs moving to Athens will be assembly positions. Some other positions will require more advanced skills. Three of the jobs will be of the higher paid engineering variety.

“There’s a fairly good spread in range,” Malone said.

The council also heard from representatives of the Texas Swing and Heritage Festival who are asking for use of Cain Park on October 18-19. The plan is to set up the stage on a grassy area next to the lake. The larger parking area will be used for the barbecue cookoff. Parking will be in the smaller lot on the Loyola Street side of Cain Center.