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by Patty Cheffey
Doyle Manufacturing will get a tax abatement and a refinancing of their current loan, following action by the Marion County Commission.
The issue was approved during Monday’s Marion County Commission meeting, at which the commissioners also approved a planning and zoning issue (see related article), signed documents closing out the tornado siren issue in Taylor, and heard an update from Chariton Valley about fiber optics.
Mark Graham, the attorney for Doyle Manufacturing and who worked with the county in 2014 on Doyle’s original request, said they have been preparing all the documents for the refinancing and partial tax abatements, including to all taxing entities.
“The interest rate will be set Tuesday,” he added, noting he will work closely with the county assessor to make sure the partial tax takes affect this year.
When asked, Graham said they are only refinancing the outstanding amount of the original loan, or about $3.5 million.
The commissioners had received a letter from the Palmyra Fire Protection District which said they are choosing to opt out of the abatement and asking for their 100 percent reimbursement of any assessment for the Doyle Enterprises.
Under Missouri statutes, fire department, ambulance (EMS), and 911 centers have the option to choose to have up to 100 percent of the taxes.
In their letter, the fire protection district noted they are not against the Doyle expansion and said they believe it is good for the local economy.
The opting out is good for one year, but the fire district can choose to do so again in subsequent years.
John Nemes, Marion County Ambulance District chief, was also present, but said the impact on the ambulance district would be minimal.
Also present was Jason Harper, the Palmyra R-I School District new superintendent, along with several members of the R-I Board of Education.
Harper asked if it would be possible to take a more “balanced approach” to the abatement, cutting some from the back side and adding it to the front end.
“Right now we are getting ESSER funds, which are going to allow us to do some capital improvement,” he said. “But, I’m worried about what happens in the future.
“With inflation increasing, money will get extremely tight, especially over the next three to five years,” he said, noting it will be impacting the entire community, not just the school district.
“I am not saying anything against Doyle Manufacturing,” Harper added. “This community needs Doyle Manufacturing. It’s essential to this community.”
While Graham said it would be possible to change the ratio of percentage, it would take several more weeks.
Rather than continue to wait on the approval, Monty Doyle announced he would be willing to donate $20,000 the first seven years to the taxing entities.
After discussion, the commissioners approved the abatement and refinancing on a 2-0-1 vote with Presiding Commissioner David Lomax abstaining, noting Doyle had given him a campaign donation.
In other business, the commissioners met with Ashley Long with Mark Twain Regional Council of Government concerning the close out documents on the Taylor siren.
As part of that, the county is requesting an additional $500 to help cover the cost overrun on the siren project from the State Emergency Management Agency. Long also noted the MTRCG is waiving it’s fee to use those funds towards the overage.
Long also reviewed several of the MTRCG’s programs, noting now is the time for entities to get on the list for 2023 Community Development Block Grants.
The county also heard from Bryan Nichols with Sam Grave’s office who reported the state has released new money for railroad crossing upgrade grants in light of the Amtrak accident in Menden, Mo.
They also heard an update from Chariton Valley, which noted they are waiting on a railroad permit in one section of the county.
In addition, they are waiting on the NTIA funds to begin work in that area of the county.