Fountain Place project begins to take place

The City of Mount Vernon is taking concrete steps to enhance the Fountain Place Industrial Park, strategically positioned near South 10th Street and slated to become the future home of Manner Polymers’ new manufacturing facility.

The Mount Vernon City Council recently approved a supplemental services agreement with Gonzalez Companies, LLC. This agreement formalizes the engineering work required for the planned park improvements, outlining the specific scope and direction for the project. The total cost of engineering, including the original agreement and the recent supplement, stands at approximately $113,845. Bidding for the construction phase will occur at a later date.

The current state of the industrial park necessitates significant upgrades, particularly road improvements. City officials plan to enhance the road leading from the traffic circle to the future Manner Polymers site, as well as the stretch extending westward to Illinois Highway 37.

Last June, news broke that Manner Polymers had chosen Mount Vernon as the location for its new 90,000-square-foot, fully solar-powered facility. This facility, dedicated to manufacturing electric vehicle PVC compounds, solar panel components, and various other industry applications, represents a $55-60 million investment and is expected to create approximately 55 new jobs. Production is anticipated to commence in 2025.

Fountain Place, one of Mount Vernon’s first and most prominent industrial parks, houses several major businesses including FedEx Freight, Ultron, and a recently constructed Jung Warehousing facility. Despite its established presence, the park requires modernization to remain competitive.

The total projected cost for the Fountain Place Industrial Park improvements is approximately $1.8 million. The City of Mount Vernon has submitted an application for an economic development grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation to help offset the expenses. If awarded, the city’s portion of the project would be reduced to roughly $900,000, as per Mayor John Lewis’ statement.