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December 13, 2013

Duncan Machine moves to vacant Valco building

DUNCAN — In 2007, Duncan Machine started in the backyard of Chris and Teri Billings’ home. On Tuesday, the manufacturing company continued its expansion, taking over the 27,000 square foot Valco building at Second and Oklahoma Highway 7.

This is the first expansion of the company. Two years ago, the Billings purchased a 4,000 square foot building on Ridley Road (the new office is about 4,100 square feet). At the time, the business owners thought Duncan Machine would only use about half of the square footage.

But it took about 13 months for the company to outgrow the space. That’s where the 5 acres across from Halliburton Manufacturing came in.

“It’s definitely nice,” Chris Billings said. “There’s not commercial space, much less industrial. We wanted a place in the Duncan School District. We want our ad valorem taxes to go to Duncan.”

Business in Duncan’s North Industrial Park pay ad valorem taxes, or property taxes, to the Marlow School District. Businesses in the South Industrial Park pay them to Comanche School District.

For Billings, it was important to support the schools his children will grow up in, while supporting the community his family calls home.

The Valco building has been standing vacant for about eight years. And it has taken nearly a year to get ready for the move into the building. Billings said he had a lot of work to do with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.

He was close to having everything ready a couple of months ago, but the federal government shutdown kept him from getting into the building for more than a month. But on Thursday, things were moved from the Ridley Road location to the Valco building.

Teri Billings said a lot of work has been done to get the building ready to be moved into. Interior concrete work has taken place, and a wall has been removed. Chris and Teri Billings said there’s still quite a bit of work to be done.

“It has really transformed,” Teri Billings said.

Duncan Manufacturing works mostly with oilfield supplies. But Chris Billings said the company does provide some diversity in product manufacturing. The company recently received its Federal Firearms License, which will allow the company to manufacture firearms.

Billings said he would like the company to eventually start manufacturing medical equipment. With the new space, he hopes that goal can become a reality.

He said the diversity in product manufacturing has allowed the company to expand and continue to hire people, even as other manufacturing companies were laying people off. He said it won’t be long and the company will start hiring more people.

“We’ll start looking in January,” Billings said.

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