The future home of Allied-Locke at Union.
The future home of Allied-Locke at Union.
A manufacturer of agricultural chains has purchased an existing building in the Union Industrial Park from Neshoba County for $700,000 and will employ 15 to 20 people initially, it was announced last week.

Allied-Locke Industries, based in Dixon, Ill., purchased the former Brook Manufacturing facility in Union in Neshoba County.

The manufacturer of agricultural chains is expected to have an annual economic impact here of about $1.3 million, according to a report from the state Development Authority.

Neshoba County purchased the former Brook facility in Union in 2010 from KSR International, based out of Canada.

The building most recently housed DuraSip, which has now reached an agreement with the Town of Union to relocate to another facility more suitable to its needs where it will continue operations, Neshoba County Administrator Benjie Coats said.

DuraSip manufactures fiberglass skin, foam core, and structural insulated panels used as walls and roofs for home construction.

Coats said Neshoba County would use the monies from the sale to pay off a CAP loan and a TVA Economic Development loan it obtained in 2010 to purchased the building.

He called the new industry "a real home run" for Neshoba County because of the "quality of jobs" it will bring.

"Allied approached Neshoba County over two years ago about the potential of locating here," Coats said. "We've been in discussions on and off since that time. The supervisors, along with the Industrial Development Authority and the Community Development Partnership, have been working with officials from Allied along with Tennessee Valley Authority, Mississippi Development Authority and Central Electric Power Association to try and bring a deal together."

Allied currently employs some Neshoba County residents at its facility in Meridian, Coats said.

Board of Supervisors President Keith Lillis expressed appreciation for Allied-Locke for locating a facility in Neshoba County.

"We are proud to have them here," Lillis said. "We've been working on this for two years. We appreciate Allied agreeing to move into Neshoba County. We certainly want to thank TVA, MDA, Central Electric, CDP President David Vowell and the IDA for their assistance on this project."

Vowell said one reason Allied chose the former Brook building was because it has space for future growth.

"It's a really strong company," Vowell said. "I think they started operations in 1960s. They have expanded into several states. They feel like this is an opportunity for growth for their agricultural chains. They are strong and we are appreciative of them wanting be part of Neshoba County."

Allied Locke Industries was founded in 1965 by Robert L. Crowson, as Allied Chains. The initial product manufactured was steel detachable chain for the agricultural market.In 1978, Allied Chains purchased Locke Steel Chain Co., a manufacturer of agricultural chains since 1897. With this acquisition, Allied Chains broadened its offering and became one of the major producers of agricultural chains in the United States. At this time, the name of the company was changed to Allied-Locke Industries.

In 1985, Cullman Ind., a sprocket manufacturer in Wheeling, Ill., discontinued operations. Allied-Locke purchased a portion of the Cullman equipment and hired some of their employees. From this beginning, the sprocket offering has grown to complement the chain sizes now offered by Allied-Locke.In 1988, Allied-Locke purchased Chain Engineering Co. (CEC), a marketer of precision roller chains for 28 years. With this acquisition, Allied-Locke positioned itself as one of the major suppliers of precision roller chain in the United States.In 1992, Allied-Locke purchased the Moline Corporation and moved the operation to its Dixon, Ill., facility the following year. Moline had been a producer of cast, combination, and all steel chains for the industrial market since 1869. This acquisition added a full range of industrial chains to Allied-Locke's product offering.

In 2001, Allied-Locke established an environmental products division and expanded into producing and marketing products for the water treatment industry.

In 2004, Allied-Locke acquired the building and equipment in Meridian that had previously been Southeast Chain Inc. This facility was then set up as a warehousing and final assembly operation to primarily service the forest products industry in the southeastern portion of the country.

In 2007, Allied-Locke acquired Brewton Iron Works, which was established in 1898. This further expanded our offering in both sprockets and environmental products items.

Allied-Locke Industries now includes five divisions: Agricultural Chain, Precision Roller Chain, Industrial Chain, Sprockets, and Environmental Products. The primary manufacturing facility in Dixon, Ill., covers nearly 600,000 square feet. Our warehouse and secondary manufacturing facility in Meridian, covers 25,000 square feet. Brewton Iron Works covers 75,000 square feet. The company also utilizes warehouse facilities in Portland, Ore. and South El Monte, Calif.

An unrelated industry, AlphaGen has yet to open a manufacturing plant in the former U. S. Motors building.

The company formally announced in December 2010, that it would bring up to 200 new jobs to Philadelphia initially and more as it expanded in the future.

The city-owned building was renovated to accommodate AlphaGen, through a $1 million Community Development Block Grant.