Charlie Hanson said the first thing he did when coming to Pekin to take over the former Fabriform building was to put a new flag up the flagpole.
And why not? After all he’ll be moving his business to the Town of New Pekin — Home of the Oldest Continuous 4th of July Celebration in the US.
And from across the street, he’ll have a birdseye view of the parade line up.
Last Friday, Pekin and Washington County officials welcomed Hanson and his wife, Jenny, owners of RC Laser Inc.
The company which does metal fabrication for two different automotive plants and a variety of other services will locate into the former Fabri-Form building soon.
RC Laser has 10 employees and could add as many as another 10 over the next year once they get moved.
Bringing the company to Pekin involved Greg Fitzloff, Salem’s Director of Marketing and Community Development, and Linda Temple with Day Company.
Fitzloff reached out to County Councilman David Hoar and asked if there was money available through the county’s EDIT (Economic Development) fund, which there was.
Hoar, county commissioner Phil Marshall and county auditor Randall Bills presented Hanson with a $10,000 check at the announcement last Friday.
Hoar said using the EDIT funds to help bring RC Laser here is the type of expenditure the fund was created for. He said the commissioners had to approve the expenditure that was also approved by the council.
Hanson said RC Laser opened in 1996. The current facility in Floyds Knobs is 15,000 square feet and the new facility in Pekin is 65,000 square feet.
Hanson said he is hoping to be in the Pekin facility by the first of May.
“I love you guys down here,” Hanson said. “Everyone has been great to work with. I think we can really grow once we get moved into this building.”
Hanson said moving the equipment while continuing to meet the customers’ needs is the biggest challenge.
“We’re going to try to keep things going during the move,” Hanson said. “I have two guys from Chicago who said they could move the lasers and other equipment and set them in up two days.”
In addition to the metal fabrication, the location in Pekin could also soon be used as a distribution center for American Metals. Hanson said there would be room in the Fabri-Form building to lease out.
Hanson said they were planning on setting up a distribution center in the plant
“Anyone in the area who deals with American (Metals) would have a quicker supply. I thing that would benefit everyone.”