In an attempt to keep another local manufacture from closing its doors in the Stateline area, the Village of Machesney Park approved a $250,000 forgivable loan Thursday to help keep Lamb Assembly and Test in the Stateline area. But the company says that this loan may not be enough of an incentive to guarantee the company will stay
"If we come up with a plan that our company approves and find a building that gives us a better image along with keeping our operations costs the same. We may be able to can keep our operations here,” said Clancy McCarthy, Lamb Assembly & Test Director of Finance.
And the $250,000 forgivable loan the village of Machesney Park approved will go a long way in doing that.
“This is important to us and the community,” said Linda Vaughn Machesney Park Mayor.
Lamb Assembly and Test Manufacturing wants to move its facility from its current location on 12th Street to the vacant Hydroline building in Machesney Park. The move will allow them to expand into a modern facility that will help their business grow.
"We need to do something so that more jobs in the area aren't lost,” said Craig Peterson, Lamb Assembly & Test, Vice President of Operations.
But lamb will only remain in the area if the community helps financially to keep its operation costs the same. The company is asking for $450,000 in tax relief or they will move their facility out of state.
So far lamb has received $250,000 from Machesney Park, some $90,000 in tax abatements from Winnebago County, but Lamb is still seeking another $50,000 from the State, as well as $10,000 combined in tax revenue from bodies such as the airport, the library and the Roscoe-Harlem Fire Department, but this still may not guarantee that the company will stay.
"No, it won't guarantee it but will put us in a better position to consider this when we have to make the decision,” said Peterson.
Lamb Assembly & Test is a manufacturing facility that designs and builds machinery for the automotive industry. They currently employ 150 people and do business with more than 270 area companies. Closing their doors now after the loss of Ingersoll would only add to nearly 9,000 manufacturing jobs the Stateline area has already lost in the past few years. Economists feel this puts communities in a bidding war to try and attract Lamb.
“If communities do it right and don't offer everything with the kitchen sink tax incentives can be a great tool to attracting businesses,” said Bob Evans, Director of Economics at Rockford College.