Waynesboro plant expands, plans to add jobs

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
July 18, 2004
WAYNESBORO Bill Walker needs more space for his 21⁄2-year-old pallet business.
Walker, who along with Chris Evans owns Magnolia Pallet Inc., said he hopes construction of a new building in the Wayne County Industrial Park will begin by September.
Once construction is complete, Walker said he hopes to add a handful of workers to his business and increase the number of employees to about 20.
The construction announcement at Magnolia is among a bevy of activity in the industrial park in recent weeks that has local economic development officials excited. Officials also announced last week that a new saw mill is in the works, which is expected to employ about 10 workers.
Officials with the Wayne County Economic Development District also learned recently that they have been granted permission to file a grant application for $2.2 million to fund needed railroad repairs directly with the U.S. Economic Development Administration sidestepping a usual application with a local planning and development district.
Officials say the repair of the 55-mile stretch of railroad in Clarke and Wayne counties, and a needed loop in the Wayne County Industrial Park, could help retain more than 2,000 jobs held by Clarke and Wayne county residents and possibly create new ones.
And, they say, the direct file of the grant application could boost chances to obtain the necessary funding.
The railroad is owned by Meridian Southern Railway LLC and links Waynesboro and Meridian, where it then connects with Kansas City Southern Railroad and other carriers.
The biggest plant that could suffer from the condition of the railroad is Waynesboro's Marshall-Durbin grain storage and blending plant, a rail-dependent chicken hatchery business located in the Wayne County Industrial Park that provides about 1,200 jobs in Mississippi and Alabama.
James Walker, president of the Wayne County Economic Development District, said there has been a recent increase in the number of industrial prospects eying Wayne County. The county currently has two industrial parks to house potential plants the older Wayne County Industrial Park where Marshall-Durbin and other businesses are located, and a new 232-acre park the began being developed last year.
James Walker said the reason for the increased interest in Wayne County is simple: "That's because of the trained workforce we have in place and the good location we can offer businesses and industries."

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Thomas Randall Miller

Franklin County

Community Spirit Bank announces promotion

Franklin County

Police search underway for man wanted in three states

Franklin County

Local students earn collegiate honors

East Franklin

PHOTOS: East Franklin Junior High awards honors

News

Traveling band makes stop at Phil Campbell High School

News

Russellville Parks and Rec holds adult sandlot softball game

Galleries

PHOTOS: Community celebrates Fourth of July with annual Jam on Sloss Lake

News

Second Canadian Phil greeted by town

Franklin County

Franklin County Schools lead nurse school nurse named administrator of the year

News

Former Russellville resident performs in ‘Miracle Worker’

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville, Red Bay public libraries enjoy summer reading program events

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight: Robbie Richardson

News

University of Mississippi announces spring Chancellor’s Honor Roll

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

x