Doyle adding job-creating expansion

Marion County's desire to assist Doyle Equipment Manufacturing in Palmyra with a road upgrade has encountered a potential roadblock – the projected cost of improving a short section of County Road 334.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 20, meeting of the county commission at the courthouse in Palmyra it was reported the estimated cost is $200,000 to improve the 500-foot section of the county road that links with Jack Doyle Industrial Drive. That cost did not include the project engineer's fee.

“That seems awfully high to me,” said Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, of the anticipated expense.

“That's a lot of money for 500 feet, even if it was concrete,” added Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch.

“I would have guessed it would be a lot less, but I'm not second guessing anyone,” said Wayne Gallaher of Doyle.

Consideration is still being given to pursuing a Community Development Block Grant for industrial infrastructure. Funds from such a grant could only be used on the public roadway. If awarded the grant the county would be responsible for 15 percent of the project's cost, or $30,000.

While Doyle can't receive any grant money for its private road, it will play a key role in whether or not the county qualifies for the grant.

A key component is the fact Doyle anticipates adding 15 to 20 new jobs once its planned 63-foot by 350-foot addition is completed. According to Gallaher, the Palmyra company already employs approximately 130 people.

For Doyle's expansion to count toward qualifying for the grant it would have to hold off on any construction of its planned building addition until the grant is awarded, according to Denise Derks of the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Community Development Block Grant Program.

Cindy Hultz, executive director of the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, added that the environmental review of the site could take 90 days to complete.

Gallaher said that is a far slower pace than Doyle had anticipated.

“We had planned to pour concrete in July,” he said. “It's good to hear this (grant guidelines) now. We could have had it (expansion) built before we got the (grant) application.”

The commissioners agreed to table the matter until its Monday, Feb. 26, meeting.

“That will give everyone an opportunity to look this over one more time,” said Bode. “We don't want to rush and make a bad decision.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at