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Author Topic: Is another shut down near?  (Read 166 times)
Hero Member
Posts: 556

« on: September 03, 2019, 12:17:02 PM »

The word out of Butts St. is the steel mill owners have threatened to shut it down again if they don't get their rezoning request. Since they will be shutting down for the storm this week anyway why not just go ahead and close it now and save a lot of us the trouble of fighting with Tupelo about the city council voting against the zoning change. The people who actually live in the city want it gone. Paige Sawyer has decreed it.
forklift driver
Sr. Member
Posts: 331

« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 02:03:47 PM »

Said it before and I'll say it again. Jamie Sanderson did not return to the Steel Mill this time after it reopened. There is a reason. Think about it. We all know Jamie thought he would take up where his daddy leaves off one day. Only that day will never come. The Steel Mill is at the end of the road. SOON.....
Tom Rubillo
Jr. Member
Posts: 67

« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 03:48:07 PM »

This is a particularly important time in the history of the city in which the members of city council must stand firm and not be bullied.  If they simply cave into threats from the owners, the union or both, and simply rezone the property for unlimited heavy industrial use indefinitely as requested, they will very substantially strengthen the mill owner's legal claims against the city should the mill  close and it take longer than a year for the present owners to find a buyer.  Right now, owners have one year after closing to sell the mill with a new buyer being able use the land for ANY heavy industrial purpose, whether the production of steel or otherwise.  After that, neither the land or any equipment on the land can be used for heavy industrial purposes.  As to the land, the new buyer would be restricted to use it in strict conformity with the "mixed use" designation for which it has been earmarked once the mill is closed for more than a year.  A buyer would have to move the equipment on the property to some other location in order to use it or turn it into scrap.  As a practical matter, what that means is that after one year of mill idleness, the equipment at the mill has little more than a scrap value.

 The way things stand right now, mill owners can't complain about any of that.  They purchased knowing of the one year time limit in the zoning ordiance.  Put another way, they gambled that the steel industry in the US would make a comeback and bought a pig in poke.  They can't complain if the pig dies, not in court anyway.  If, on the other hand, the city council changes the zoning ordinance as requested or demanded, they will be putting that pig on indefinite life support.  If, after years and years and years of idleness, a new city council were to want to tear down a rusting old eyesore in the center of town and rezone the property for some other use,  mill owners would be able tol complain that their legal right to "use" the rusting equipment on the property for heavy industrial purposes for an indefinite period of time is being "taken" from them.  They city would have to pay "just compensation" for that "taking" 

 The city hired lawyers who are expert in constitutional law to advise council members when this specific zoning/taking question came up before.  Those attorney warned the city council about the dangers of a "takings" lawsuit when it comes to the value of the industrial equipment presently on site.  (There are different issues relating to the land.  The city's hand is much stronger there.)   

Based on the expert legal advice that the city received, an amendment to the old zoning ordinance was carefully crafted to keep the city and its residents and taxpayers from being sued, but still keep control over the future use of the land.  That is the ordinance that is now in place.  That is the ordinance that mill owners are reportedly demanding be changed.  They are doing so because they are looking out for their own financial interests, not those of city or the union or the non-union employees.  (All they have to do to protect workers is to stay open.) 

  I very strongly suggest that the city not remove the one year time limit on closure.  If it does, once this old, outdated and only marginally productive mill mill closes (which is inevitable, sooner or later), there will be two very bad consequences:  (1) the closed mill will sit idle, rusting, deteriorating and become an increasingly ugly eyesore in the very center of town, and (2) once people get really tired of that state of affairs and try, through their then elected city officials, try to do anything to remove the eyesore and revitalize the area, the city will be faced with a very large lawsuit that will end up costing the city and its residents a whole lot of money.  There is no insurance covering the city for any of this.  The city is "self-insured," meaning that it has to pay, dollar for dollar, both the cost of defending itself and any judgment rendered against it.

If it is the intention of mill owners to make a substantial investment in new equipment so it can profitably operate for a long time, they need to disclose the details of their plans to the city council.  Under those circumstances, time limits can be removed AFTER THE IMPROVEMENTS ARE MADE.  Mill owners should also commit to cleaning up the portion of their property not being used for production at this point -- Wood to Dozier, Front to the Sampit -- and make it available to "mixed" use in accordance with the existing ordinance.   A carefully written amendment to the present ordinance can be written that protects both sides from being bamboozled by the other on these points.  But in the meantime the members of city council have to stand strong and not be bullied.  If mill owners want something important, they should give something important.  The members of city council have to have enough spine to demand that. 

All of the members of city council were elected to represent the people of the City of Georgetown.  They don't represent the union.  They don't represent the company.  They don't represent just those who voted for them.  They represent ALL the residents of the city.    It is time for those council members to stand up for the people of the city andnot be bullied.  Caving in like that would be cowardly.   

Hero Member
Posts: 563

« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 02:13:30 PM »

I wish Mr. Rubillo was our mayor again now. I am concerned that like he said this is a critical time for this city and the current council will fold to the will of the union boss. There is no legitimate reason to give the mill owners the rezoning. They are just trying to get a buyer for the pig in a poke they bought for pennies on the dollar. They have learned the hard way this steel mill is not viable as long as the union boss and his cronies are in charge.
Full Member
Posts: 141

« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 03:42:09 PM »

Hear that noise? That's right there is no noise because the mill is not making steel again this weekend. How many turns are you making at the mill James E. Sanderson Jr? Why did your son not return when the mill opened? Yep the order book is empty and Jamie was actually smart this time and kept his job outside the mill. Soon James. Soon.
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