Mennie Machine Company
PROJECT: Extend Public Infrastructure/Municipal Services to Mennie Machine Company
Grant Amount: $750,000
Agency: IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)
Applicant/Grantee: Village of Mark
Total Project Cost: $1,100,000
Infrastructure Project Description: The Village of Mark received a $750,000 CDAP grant to make water system improvements to facilitate the expansion of Mennie Machine Company (MMC). The project consisted of the construction of 2 shallow wells, a water treatment plant, a 100,000 gallon elevated water tower and 5300 L.F. of transmission main. MMC constructed an 84,250 square foot addition to their existing plant. The project resulted in the creation of 50 full time jobs.
The Company: In 1970, Hubert J. Mennie, was the founder and sole employee of MMC. With the help of his wife Cheryl and his sons Bill and David, the Mennies achieved their goal of being a fully operational tool and die manufacturer. The company started in the 400 square foot garage at the Mennie household. They then expanded into a larger building on that site. and later to a 30,000 square foot building in LaSalle. The LaSalle plant was the location for high volume manufacturing with state-of-the-art machining – robotic machining cells.
In 1999, construction of a new 130,000 square foot manufacturing facility was completed. This expansion allowed MMC to expand their market to include the construction equipment and automotive manufacturing sectors of the economy while maintaining the high-quality goods and services for existing customers. MMC provides precision machining from prototypes through production and high volume production capacity. Services available include: engineering design and analysis; designing and building of specialized automation cells and equipment; production process design and analysis and the designing and manufacturing of custom fixturing and production process solutions.
The 1999 project was also assisted by DCEO with CDAP Economic Development funds that were used for both infrastructure work and a low-interest loan to the company. The facility that was constructed is a beautifully designed building. The environment both inside and outside the building is extraordinary. It is not unusual in a highly urban environment to see economic development strategies include strong urban design elements. It is unusual to see a manufacturing company in rural Illinois make design and a “sense of place” a priority in their business strategy. Private developers and businesses in today’s competitive market are much more likely to see profit in the competitive edge that high quality design gives to their developments. The Mennie family has the vision and expertise to see that there is a direct relationship between these elements.