Business & Finance

Planning Board: Universal Tool and Manufacturing to Expand in Springfield

Dorothy Principe, CEO of Universal Tool and Manufacturing, and her daughter with site plan Credits: Ellen Dickson
Building Plan Credits: Ellen Dickson
Headquarters Credits: Ellen Dickson
Universal Tool and Manufacturing founder Credits: Ellen Dickson
Display of products Credits: Ellen Dickson

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - At the February 1, 2017 Springfield Planning Board meeting a preliminary and final site plan was presented in an application for Universal Tool and Manufacturing. The hearing was on an addition to the manufacturing plant that involves two bulk variances.

Universal Tool and Manufacturing is located at 115 Victory Road. This family run business has been operating in Springfield at this location for 72 years. It is a metal stamping company.  ”We make parts of a flashlight, but we don’t make the flashlight” was how one employee described the company.  The majority of their business is making parts that go into other customers’ products.

Dorothy Principe, President and Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged that the company lost an opportunity six months ago.  According to her, they had to turn it down because they didn’t have the room to take on more business. She went on to say, “We can’t expand, we don’t have the room or space for inventory.”  

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She added, “This is our livelihood.  My daughter has been with me for 35 years and my grandson has joined the company.”  The hardship presented by this case is because of the odd shape of the lot.  When Interstate 78 was built, part of their property was taken away by eminent domain leaving them with an odd pie shaped lot. Interstate 78 runs along the rear of the lot.

The 12,180 square foot expansion will be a one story brick addition to the east side of the building.  It is partially located within a flood hazard area.  However, the applicant testified that the property has never flooded and the new drainage system will handle increased flow. Additionally, two new drywells will be built.  A plan was also presented to improve lighting and landscaping.

Planning Board Chair Jerry Fernandez said “He is always happy to see a business expand in Springfield, especially in these tough economic times.” The business will add four to five new employees to their existing base of 25.

The application was approved unanimously.

Earlier in the meeting T-Mobile presented a site plan waiver to upgrade a 150 foot monopole at One Cornell Parkway. Cingular Wireless requested a site plan waiver to add three antennas on top of the Fire House at 200 Mountain Avenue.

Both applications were approved unanimously. The Planning Board meets on the first Wednesday of the month, 7pm at the municipal building.  This a picture of the Planning Board.


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