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Monday, May 2, 2016

Medlock Truss relocates to Fulton County

Thursday, October 24, 2002

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Medlock Truss Company moved its plant from Sharp County to Fulton County because of a state buy-out in September.
Even after surviving the hardship of the great flood in 1981, Medlock Truss Company had no plans to relocate its plant until the state forced the move. The state purchased the Medlock's land for the Hardy bypass. The company moved its plant from Sharp County to Fulton County.

The creator of the company, L.F. Medlock, was born and raised in Poughkeepsie. In later years he moved to California to work but said he didn't like the hustle and bustle of big city life so he moved back to his homeland in 1967.

He worked with construction crews in Cherokee Village during its hey day when the area was booming with construction, said Blake Medlock, his son. Becoming proficient in all areas of construction and building trusses he left the company he worked for and started his own company.

Medlock Truss opened its doors in 1976 in Cherokee Village and moved to Hardy in 1981.

The recent move to Agnos in September of this year was not by choice, but rights of eminent domain forced the company to move, said the younger Medlock.

The corporation, owned by both Medlocks and Greg Lute, employs 12.

"We wanted to stay in the Hardy area, but because of land restrictions we moved to Agnos," said Blake. Another reason for relocating to another county was because of cheaper and flatter land. Another bonus was the fact the plant is no longer in a flood plain. Blake said because it was a state buyout the company was on a deadline to move. Another benefit is the company will not have to pay any city taxes which will save money; Agnos is not incorporated

The new site containing 8.19 acres was pasture land which required minimal dirt work and that factored into one of the reasons for moving from Sharp County, said Blake. The new site also houses a larger facility which is a metal frame building. "We plan on staying here a long time unless another bypass comes along," said Medlock.

David Gibson of Gibson Box Company was instrumental with the move. Gibson's plant is located next door so he sold the land to the corporation and also helped with the surveying. "We have two successful businesses here, side by side," said Medlock.

Medlock and Lute both spoke eagerly about plans to expand in the future which will require hiring additional personnel. Plans include constructing another building to house a press and saw. Medlock said tourism is great but the tri-county area needs industry and the relocating of the plant is a start, he added. Lute agreed the move to Fulton would benefit the area with the loss of the Tri-County Shirt Factory.

Medlock and Lute said the location is a good one because it's on the highway and close to Salem, Mountain Home, Batesville and Calico Rock. Lute said the location was one of the biggest selling points. Lute added the company has had more walk-in customers because of the convenience of the location.

Most of the equipment and machinery was moved in two weeks, Lute said. The old plant shut down Aug. 23 and employees were back in operation with their first set of trusses built Sept. 3.

Medlock Truss builds floor, roof, attic and barn trusses.

Fulton County Judge Curren Everett was helpful extending the driveway and hauling chat. "He has been very supportive for us relocating to Fulton County," said Medlock.

Medlock said his father built a very successful business from the ground up and kept it running which has made it the business it is today.

The lives of 12 families were changed; they were able to stay in the area and close to their family, said Blake.

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