Two Athens businesses adding around 35 jobs

Nov. 18—ATHENS — Two companies that plan to add as many as 35 jobs benefited from City Council actions this week, with one business receiving tax abatements and the other acquiring property owned by the city and Limestone County.

Scout Pest Control is purchasing around 2 acres of property along Clyde Mabry Drive, offering $25,000 per acre, to construct a new office building that will allow it to increase its number of employees. Company President Jared Toone said Scout currently has 15 employees.

"Over the next two years, we will triple our employees because we're able to have the space to expand into," he said.

Scout currently operates in Limestone County but in a building that is about one-fifth the size of what he plans to build.

"I've got to still work with the architect, but it will be between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet," he said.

In addition to adding as many as 30 jobs, Scout's building project will equal about a half-million-dollar investment, according to Bethany Shockney, president and CEO of Limestone County Economic Development Association.

At its meeting Monday, the City Council approved an ordinance to sell the roughly 2 acres of property to Scout. The Limestone County Commission will vote on the sale at its meeting Monday.

In a separate action, the council approved granting tax abatements to Morgan Metals so it can add 4,800 square feet to its facility at 1984 U.S. 31 S. in Athens. The expansion eventually could result in five additional jobs.

Morgan Metals began in Birmingham in 1944 but moved to Athens in 1999. Patrick Townsend, president, said his company does metal manufacturing for local industries such as Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

"This expansion gives us the necessary space for additional product finishing including painting and packaging," he said. "We will now be able to complete larger projects for our customers."

He said he currently has 18 employees but will hire more within the next two or three years.

"We're looking for two right at the moment, but we'll probably end up adding probably four or five (total)," Townsend said.

Townsend said they will be adding powder coating ovens in the new space.

"Powder coating is a painting process where you spray basically the dry paint on it and you melt it to where it's really hard," he said.

Shockney said the company will receive an abatement on a portion of sales tax during construction and on non-education property taxes for 10 years.

"During construction they (Morgan) will save $8,550 and the schools will receive $4,823," Shockney said. "Property tax abatement will be a savings of $11,830, but they will be paying the schools $9,679 over a 10-year period."

Shockney said the cost of the addition is $286,000.

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