Itron moves closer to marketing facility

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By Molly Haines

In a recent meeting with Owen County officials, Itron focused on the next steps for marketing its Owenton facility.

The move comes after Itron announced in November that it would shutter its local facility, leaving 450 employees behind. 

The primary objectives of the meeting were providing agents from Itron’s elected real estate partner a tour of the facility and connecting them with local officials for future collaboration and support throughout the marketing process, according to Angela Lockwood, director of corporate communications at Itron. 

“We are in the early stages of the process and have no other specifics to share at this time,” Lockwood said.

At the Feb. 7 Owenton City Council meeting, Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier said the company’s target moving time is June 2018. 

“I feel good that we will have an industry here,” Wotier said. 

In addition to the financial loss of Itron moving, Wotier also noted that St. Elizabeth Owen removed 60 jobs, resulting in a $20,000 a year loss to city coffers. 

Itron’s Owenton facility produces gas meters and gas regulators for utility companies and is currently Owen County’s largest employer. 

Despite local and state official’s efforts to keep Itron local, officials said the company’s plans to leave Owenton were set in stone, and nothing they could do would persuade the company to stay.