New firm mulls ‘light plant’ for Rockdale

A Dallas-area firm, which plans to manufacture a device allowing military personnel to avoid spine and shoulder injuries, is looking at Rockdale as a possible site for a “light manufacturing” plant.

Gary Griesbach, president of the Rockdale Municipal Development District (MDD) board, said discussion of Emerald Touch Inc. is on the agenda for the MDD’s monthly session, set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Griesbach said a recent meeting with Emerald Touch was attended by city, business and county officials.

“They are looking at possible locations in Rockdale, including the old Walmart and HEB buildings,” he said.

‘EXOSPINE’—Emerald Touch plans to manufacture the “exospine” device invented by Dr. Michael Glenn.

Dr. Glenn said the device was developed to reduce the wear and tear seen in military personnel from repeated loadbearing activities.

He said the dev ice’s concept is to remove all of the spine and shoulders load in carrying heavy packs and equipment by placing it on the pelvis and legs “the ( body’s) structures designed to handle the load.”

In addition to military applications, the exospine can be used to reduce injuries to law enforcement, emergency medical services and labor force personnel, Dr. Glenn said.

DIRECTOR—Also on Thursday, the MDD will go into executive session to discuss finalizing an offer to a candidate to become the district’s first executive director.

Last week the cit y council okayed creation of the position and approved an expenditure package of up to $150,000 including an executive director, assistant and office expenses.

Griesbach said after an extensive application and interview process, the MDD settled on a finalist and has offered him the job.

He said some contract issues remain and will be discussed by directors.

The position is being funded by sales taxes collected by the MDD, which once went to support Richards Memorial Hospital, not by city ad valorem taxes.

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2012-02-23 digital edition

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