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October 2, 2013

Officials break ground of 25,000-square-foot facility

Magnet Paints to create up to 20 new jobs for town

WEST POINT — It was a long time in coming, but if you ask anyone gathered here for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning, it was well worth the wait.

After more than two decades of trying to recruit the New York-based Magnet Paints and Shellac Company to West Point, local and state officials celebrated the beginning of construction on a new 25,000-square-foot facility with the ceremonial shoveling of dirt.

The $2 million facility will be constructed on three acres of land located on Cullman County 1246 and will produce commercial, industrial, and automotive coatings. The development will create 10 jobs initially, with the anticipation of a total of 20 new positions within the next few years.

Magnet Paints, founded in 1915, currently has a manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a distribution center in Amityville, N.Y.

“We hope to be up and running sometime after the first of the year,” said Ashlee Stancil, technical sales specialist with the company.

West Point Mayor Kenneth Kilgo said he was excited about the potential the new business presented the town.

“Magnet Paints serves kind of a niche market so it should bring in outside revenue that we’ve never seen before,” Kilgo said. “It’s creating local jobs, local hires and some of that sales tax revenue will stay here locally.”

Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker and Associate Commissioner Stanley Yarbrough said they were both happy about the new growth — in jobs and revenue —  the new facility would bring to not only West Point but to the entire county.

“It’s always good to be creating jobs, especially in the economic climate we’re currently in,” Walker said.

Magnet Paints Operations Manager Frankie Jones, who also serves as a West Point town council member, was thrilled to finally see tangible progress and commended West Point and county leaders for working together to secure the project.

“We work hard to get industry here, and I think this shows that Cullman County is open and a fantastic place to do business,” Jones said.

Others who attended the groundbreaking ceremony included Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce President Leah Bolin,  Associate Commissioner Darrell Hicks, Cullman County Economic Development officials, Alabama Representatives Mac Buttram, R-Cullman, and Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, and a representative from Gov. Robert Bentley’s office.

Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at towens@cullmantimes.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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