Water-quality tests manufacturer to build research and development and manufacturing facility in Delaware

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Headlines February 28, 2022

Here are some of the top stories we’re following for Monday, February 28, 2022.

Damian Giletto, Wochit

A Maryland-based company that sells instruments to test water quality is building a research and development and manufacturing facility in Delaware.

The state on Monday gave the company, LaMotte Co., about $1.2 million to build lab space and to support job creation. LaMotte CEO Scott Amsbaugh said the company will hire 57 employees for the new facility in its first year and 104 employees over its first three years.

The facility will be in the Pencader Corporate Center off Route 896 in Glasgow. The company is taking over a 79,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Siemens.

LaMotte plans to spend $3.3 million to build out the space. It hopes to open the facility before the end of the year.

Founded in Baltimore in 1919, LaMotte started by manufacturing test kits that change the color of a water sample when certain characteristics are present. The company later developed test strips, a piece of paper that is dipped into a water sample to show its composition or pH level.

About 10 years ago, Amsbaugh said, the company made an electronic meter that reads samples and mixes them. The technology produced more accurate readings and sped the testing process.

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The success of the electronic meter combined with growth in LaMotte’s end-user markets such as home pools and spas and aquariums and fish farming has spurred a significant increase in demand in the past few years, Amsbaugh said.

The company wants to increase production and has run out of research and development space at its Chestertown, Maryland, headquarters, Amsbaugh said. There, they’ve also had difficulty filling jobs.

Amsbaugh said LaMotte chose the Glasgow site for its proximity to the University of Delaware, from which it hopes to attract chemistry and engineering talent, as well as the state’s skilled workforce to operate its specialized equipment and the available research space.

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The site is about an hour drive from the Chestertown headquarters. Amsbaugh said some members of the executive team will have offices at both locations.

The Council on Development Finance awarded LaMotte with about $1 million for the lab space and about $200,000 for the jobs the company will create. The money comes from the Delaware Strategic Fund, a pool of state money meant to attract businesses and generate jobs in Delaware.

Applicants are brought to the Council on Development Finance by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, a public-private partnership that helps businesses find potential sites and funding. LaMotte’s application received unanimous approval.

Contact Brandon Holveck at bholveck@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @holveck_brandon.

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