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Author Topic: Shut is down for good.  (Read 708 times)
concernedperson
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« on: May 07, 2017, 02:17:11 PM »

Tom Rubillo has once again NAILED IT. The nasty polluting steel mill should be forced to clean up its operations IF IT DOES REOPEN. He lets on that the new owner is probably just a straw man to get the pollution liability off Mittal's back. The question is will the council have the courage to shut it down for good?
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Marty Tennant
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 03:56:35 PM »

Article here: http://gabnewsonline.com/26614/284596/a/letter-former-mayor-says-city-should-delay-steel-mill-property-rezoning-vote

Well done Tom. I agree that we should move slowly and with caution.

There are many forces at work here.
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Notice:  All posts made by me are my OPINION.  I am not responsible for any comments by others!  The Citizens' Report is provided as a public service to the citizens of Georgetown County for them to report and comment on the news.
Marty Tennant
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 06:17:58 PM »

Lot's of comments flying around today about the word "abandoned."

I'm hearing that ArcelorMittal has taken steps to insure that that classification would not apply.

Does the City want to drag itself into court to find out what a judge or two or seven think?
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Notice:  All posts made by me are my OPINION.  I am not responsible for any comments by others!  The Citizens' Report is provided as a public service to the citizens of Georgetown County for them to report and comment on the news.
sampit_steve
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 03:27:20 PM »

For once, the City may have actually taken the right approach with how they went about changing the steel mill's land use. By taking the methodical public approach with the Planning Commission and using the Waccamaw Reg. Council  of Gov't to revise the Comprehensive Plan, which had already recommended the rezoning of the property if the mill were to close, the City should have a pretty good legal foothold to withstand a lawsuit. ArcelorMittal is trying to scare the City leaders because it is in their best interest to keep the zoning as is. Their only interest is sell off their assets for the highest price without any interest in the Georgetown community. Liberty House is a finance group looking for a deal. And since both ArcelorMittal and Liberty House operate globally, there is no way to tell the basis of the transaction. It could be a multilateral deal to avoid taxes and Liberty may be getting Georgetown for nothing.

Zoning is only the first step to reopening the mill. The new company would also need a Fee in Lieu of Taxes from local government (city, county, school district), reduced rate from Santee Cooper and an agreement with the State Ports Authority, which owns their waterfront. From what I've heard, they've yet to have any conversations with these groups. A company would need the full commitment from the local community to have any chance to make the mill viable. The Liberty deal conveniently got announced on the eve of the Planning Commission vote, which makes it look like they are a patsy for ArcelorMittal. And it is very doubtful that paying high union wages would be part of their plan to make US steel competitive, so Sanderson is also being used to stir up the community.

Now, does the Mayor & Council have the guts to do what is right and follow the input of experienced urban planners to move the City forward, or will they cave-in?

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Marty Tennant
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 05:13:04 PM »

Excellent commentary.

I'm not sure it is about having the guts to move forward.

At this point, I don't think the City should do anything. They should move slowly and open up communication channels.

Being "gutsy" might produce extended and costly litigation at this point.

In this regard, I agree with Rubillo.
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Notice:  All posts made by me are my OPINION.  I am not responsible for any comments by others!  The Citizens' Report is provided as a public service to the citizens of Georgetown County for them to report and comment on the news.
Amazing2Me2
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 06:02:35 AM »

So Georgetown is seeking legal council while ArcelorMittal has a fleet of lawyers on standby that can make a small dietary snack out of Georgetown. When was the last lawsuit that Georgetown won? Also, I am puzzled by the term abandoned. There have been people working at the plant locally full-time since it was ceased operation. How is that abandoned?
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sampit_steve
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 10:47:52 AM »

By guts, I mean the resolve to do what is right for the greater good. And Rubillo is probably right that they need to hold taking a vote because of the local political climate. I hope the City has some expert outside counsel, because otherwise they are going into a gunfight with a butter knife. ArcelorMittal’s S.O.P. is to threaten with lawsuits, but if the City ever wants to move forward, they should be willing to take a stand.

There are Federal & State timing milestones for closed manufacturing facilities, labor and land use regulations, etc. They are past the point of a “shutdown” and ArcelorMittal has publicly said they won’t reopen the mill. So in a sense, they have “abandoned” their right to continue the current land use of operating heavy industry at that location. They have moved a lot of equipment out of the facility, so it’s not in a condition to reopen and operate exactly as before. Therefore, they are selling property and not a business. And the land use rights of the property are not grandfathered with the transaction. Cities have the right to rezone property for the betterment of the community if they follow the process. But I’m sure both sides have plenty legal ground to hang their hat. But you’ve got understand a legitimate company wanting to reopen the mill would never make the investment unless they had the full support of the community. So there is obviously something fishy going on and we’ve got Mayor Pike in charge.
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Marty Tennant
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 04:14:13 PM »

I attended the meeting today.

One thing stood out that shocked me. The representative for the Liberty House Group actually used the work "abandoned" to describe the mill.

The other representatives from Liberty looked at each other with concern after he uttered this.

I was flabbergasted.

James Sanderson originally entered the conference room for executive session, but was asked to leave by Mayor Scoville. He apparently told him he was not on city council, and the response was that the Liberty folks weren't either. They booted him out anyway.  Sorry James. I'm sure you would have heard some interesting stuff.
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Notice:  All posts made by me are my OPINION.  I am not responsible for any comments by others!  The Citizens' Report is provided as a public service to the citizens of Georgetown County for them to report and comment on the news.
Marty Tennant
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 08:12:15 PM »

http://gabnewsonline.com/26614/285428/a/plans-to-rezone-steel-mill-property-put-on-hold
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Notice:  All posts made by me are my OPINION.  I am not responsible for any comments by others!  The Citizens' Report is provided as a public service to the citizens of Georgetown County for them to report and comment on the news.
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