Valve company will relocate to Minden

An international valve and fire hydrant manufacturer will build a 180,000 square-foot building on 20 acres in the Meridian Business Park near the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

American AVK will move its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing plant to Minden from Fresno, Calif. The move is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2006, a spokesman said Monday. Escrow on the land closed in January.

"Plans call for a first-phase facility of 180,000 square feet and more than 80 full-time employees, company spokesman Donald Emery said.

Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Ron Weisinger said American AVK will contribute about $18 million to the region.

"They are a community player," he said. "They will be getting involved in the community. They will probably be hiring about three-quarters of their work force from here, and these will be good-paying jobs with benefits."

Weisinger said American AVK will meet and exceed the state's average hourly wage of $16.49.

American AVK manufactures gate valves, fire hydrants and accessories for the water, wastewater, fire protection and irrigation industries, according to the company. Its products are used by utilities in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Fresno manufacturing building is 120,000 square feet. It also has warehousing and distribution centers in Dallas and Charleston, S.C.

Weisinger, who has worked with the company for a year concerning the relocation, said American AVK plans to use local builders for the construction project.

The company spokesman said decisions, such as when the hiring will begin, have not been made yet.

"As time goes on I'm sure announcements will be made, but at this point that's all we have," Emery said.

Larry Rodriguez, president of the Northern Nevada Development Authority, said he is happy to welcome the company to Northern Nevada.

"American AVK has done a tremendous amount of due diligence in finding the appropriate location for their U.S. headquarters," he said. "And it's a pleasure to welcome it to Northern Nevada on behalf of all the agencies and individuals that helped make this possible."

American AVK

American AVK is one of 35


worldwide that

comprise the AVK Group, which has its headquarters in Europe. The AVK Group specializes in products for water works, waste water, fire protection and the natural gas industries.

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