Governor visited Doyle facility last week

While still a relatively new member of Marion County's economic community, Doyle Equipment Manufacturing in Palmyra is already growing. To help make a planned expansion more financially feasible the company has turned to the county commission for assistance.

On Monday, Feb. 5, representatives of the company – Monty Doyle, Catherine Doyle and Wayne Gallaher – brought a proposal to the Palmyra courthouse for Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, and Steve Begley, Western District commissioner. Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch was absent.

Doyle was seeking the county's backing as a sponsor for an Economic Development Grant. That grant would be used to upgrade County Road 334 and Jack Doyle Industrial Drive to hard-surface roads “to better accommodate the traffic generated by the proposed 2018 expansion of the Doyle Equipment Manufacturing plant,” said Catherine Doyle as she read from a memo.

According to Catherine Doyle there is a definite need for the roadway upgrade.

“We have witnessed a dust and pothole problem on these two roadways during the use of traffic from customers, deliveries, product shipping and receiving, federal postal deliveries, visits from local and state government officials including a recent visit from Gov. Greitens, and many others,” she said.

It was noted during the meeting that the county would be expected to provide a 15 percent match to be considered for the grant. Begley questioned the county putting up a significant amount of match money because the portion of the county road slated to be upgraded is roughly 500 feet.

Following Monday's meeting, Cindy Hultz, executive director of the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, reported that funds from the grant could only be applied to a public road, such as County Road 334. Jack Doyle Industrial Drive, which was designed and built to an 80,000-pound specifications, is a private road.

While the county's sponsorship of the grant is in limbo, Bode and Begley approved allowing the county to pay for 50 percent of the preliminary engineering costs, which will be necessary to determine a cost estimate for the road project. The county's share of the preliminary study is expected to cost only a few thousand dollars.

“This is still a work in progress,” said Bode. “We want to work with Doyle, which is a new factory in Marion County. We like the project and want to help.”

Doyle representatives are expected to meet again with the commissioners later in the month.

Then-Gov. Jay Nixon announced on May 20, 2011, that Doyle would be moving into a new 210,000-square foot facility Palmyra.

To help Doyle move ahead with its plans, the state of Missouri authorized an economic incentive package worth $1.5 million to the company.

Founded in 1951 by the late Merle Doyle, Doyle Manufacturing is a fourth-generation company that supplies dry fertilizer handling equipment, including blenders, conveyors, tenders and spreading equipment, to fertilizer dealers and growers across the U.S. and in a number of foreign countries.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com