The sign for the future home of Production Equipment
Services is seen Thursday afternoon in Hartford. The
business is looking to expand to the area on Innovation
Way, constructing a 9,500-square-foot office building.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Many economic experts contend
small business is the backbone of the
nation’s economy. One young small business
in Hartford is an example of how small
businesses can grow and impact local
economic conditions. Monday, Hartford’s Plan
Commission approved a conditional use permit
and site plan for the construction of a new
building at 2240 Industrial Way in the Dodge
Industrial Park. It will be the new home of
Production Equipment Services LLC. The
building is being constructed to fit the
company’s needs. They will then lease it
from the owner. The company is a small,
family-owned business that performs
industrial machine repair.
“Right now we’re working out
of a rented bay at 730 Wacker Drive,” said
company owner Keith Justman. “But we have a
business that’s growing and the size of the
equipment we’re working on is getting to be
a challenge to find places to go with it so
we’re building a bigger facility to grow
The business was born in 2013
and Justman said he now has four full-time
and two part-time employees.
“Our goal is to do more
machining internally at our facility and
hire more people to learn the trade and
hopefully take over the business,” Justman
said. “Metal fabrication equipment is our
primary work, but we work on from punch
presses, nuclear power plants doing the
alignments and working on the main bearings
for the turbines.”
According to an executive
summary written by City Planner Justin Drew,
Justman’s site plan for the new location
shows three potential buildings, with the
easternmost one to be built this year.
“The building would be for
industrial equipment repair and service,”
Drew said. “Per the owner ‘we have no
hazardous materials on site or have the
intent to have such in the future’.”
Justman said it’s hoped
construction of the new 9,500 foot-square
building, that will include office space and
a shop, can begin as soon as possible.
“We hope to be moved into the
new building by October at the latest,”
Justman said. “The lot is about 4.5 acres.
We had hoped we could be in the new building
in September, but it looks more like October
because of the weather and the time it took
in getting final approval.”
If all three buildings are
eventually constructed that are now shown on
the company’s site plan, the structures
would cover nearly 30,000 square-feet. The
first building will be a one floor structure
with a mezzanine over the office area.
“The building has been
located on the site to allow future
additional development,” Justman said.
A major portion of the
building, Justman said, will be for
equipment storage and a shop area.
“We need more room. We do
industrial machine repair. We have a mobile
business. We go out there and evaluate it,”
Justman said. “If we can repair it on site —
great. If not, we utilize local machine
shops. We’ll bring stuff to our facility to
rebuild it as well.”
Justman said his company has
“a pretty solid customer base within an hour
of Hartford” and then through word of mouth
he’s gotten his name “into a lot of
different scenarios, so things are going
According to the U.S.
Department of Commerce, small businesses
represent 99 percent of employer firms. They
employ half of all private sector employees
and they pay around 40 percent of U.S.
private sector payroll.