Badger Meter to move work from Arizona to Racine

Company shifting 35 jobs with closure of Scottsdale facility

Badger Meter Inc. headquarters
Badger Meter Inc.'s headquarters in Brown Deer.

Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. plans to move about 35 jobs from Arizona to Racine by March of next year, according to the company’s top executive.

Badger Meter Inc. headquarters
Badger Meter Inc.’s headquarters in Brown Deer.

Rich Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and chief executive officer, told BizTimes the company informed employees last month it would be closing its Scottsdale, Arizona facility and moving the work to its Racine operations. Badger Meter has a 134,400-square-foot facility in Racine.

The 32,000-square-foot Arizona facility houses both manufacturing and offices. Meeusen said it focuses on manufacturing turbine meters and the work involves precision machining and advanced assembly. He added the facility has a National Institute of Standards and Technology certified lab that will also be moved to Racine.

The Arizona facility is leased through Sept. 1, 2019, according to SEC documents. Badger Meter acquired Arizona-based Cox Instruments LLC in 2010 for $7.8 million.

Meeusen was a strong supporter of Wisconsin’s right-to-work law during the debate over the bill in 2015. The legislation, which was ultimately signed at Badger Meter’s headquarters, prevents employers from requiring union membership as a condition of employment.

During debate on the bill, Meeusen said the company would add work in Wisconsin if the legislation passed, but the work would go elsewhere if it did not. Since the law was signed, Badger Meter has added 30 to 40 jobs in Brown Deer and Racine, Meeusen said. The additional positions have come in machining, welding and painting jobs previously done by outside vendors.

“Frankly, we would not have been doing all of that if Wisconsin were not a right-to-work state,” Meeusen said.

While closing the Arizona facility and moving the work to Wisconsin will result in some costs, Meeusen said there will also be some efficiency to be realized. He said the closure would likely still have happened without right-to-work, but the jobs would have shifted to other Badger Meter facilities in Oklahoma.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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