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‘Things are looking up’ for $970M V&M plan



Published: Sun, August 23, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

Youngstown’s mayor said the project may set a positive precedent for Girard, Youngstown and the entire Mahoning Valley.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

GIRARD — Girard officials said they will meet Monday afternoon with Youngstown officials to try to reach an agreement over the proposed $970 million V&M Star Steel expansion.

Girard City Council met for about two hours Saturday behind closed doors to discuss their plan.

“Things are looking up,” said 4th Ward Councilman Tom Grumley.

He said he could not reveal any details of the talks, but noted that the plan under consideration is to move forward and not return to “negative times” in the Valley.

“We want the expansion,” he said.

No time was announced for Monday’s meeting, but he expected it would be in the afternoon.

V&M Star officials want 80 acres in Girard to become part of Youngstown. The company wants its Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard plant to be totally within Youngstown.

Youngstown recently bought the 80 acres, and V&M has said it will reimburse the city for the property at a cost of about $5 million.

Mayor James Melfi and some council members left city hall without commenting, and the mayor could not be reached later by phone.

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said he did not want to get into specifics of talks, but he said they could set a very positive precedent for the Girard, Youngstown and the entire Mahoning Valley. The area, the mayor said, is one entity and an agreement would help both communities.

Girard council members have indicated they favor the boundary change.

V&M officials have indicated the company wants a decision by Friday or will look elsewhere for a site for the project if an agreement is not reached on the land dispute.

If V&M moves ahead with the project, it would hire about 400 employeesmaking about $60,000 to $70,000 per year, Williams said.

It will cost about $5 million to clean up the 80 acres, Youngstown officials have said.

wilkinson@vindy.com


Comments

1NachoCheese(161 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Hmm... more backroom meetings with Youngstown politicians, more intimidation of the good people of Girard? More blatant violations of open meeting laws? All for what? So Jay can pull the wool over the eyes of a few people to get what he covets of his neighbors.

People who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are likely to repeat them in the future. A bright new future in Jay's eyes is for him and his deteriorated fifedom to take over anything and everything he can from the surrounding area.

A bright new future would call for Youngstown to improve it's status to match the surrounding areas - not for Youngstown to drag the surrounding areas down to a level to make Youngstown seem less mediocre. Be careful what you wish for...

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2ytownsteelman(627 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey Cheese, I think the wool has been pulled over your eyes. Girard will share the benefits of the expansion, they will receive HALF the taxes paid by the workers and the company. It will be a net INCREASE in revenue for Girard, while relieving them from the responsibility of paying to clean up the contamination on the property.

The trend of the future is regionalization and cooperation instead of the tired old "whats mine is mine" attitude that pervades the valley. Girard city council believes in that, and now Melfi is starting to see the error of his ways.

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3unofficialgirard(6 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

What is 400 jobs really going to do? And these jobs appear to be higher-skilled jobs that most people would not be able to fill. All of this fuss seems misplaced, to me, that is.

Sure, it's nice to see the land being cleaned up, but it's going to be cleaned up only to be messed up again by V&M.

There must be a way to bring financial security to people in the Mahoning Valley, whether that's through living-wage paying jobs with good benefits or through other large-scale cooperative efforts. I don't think the V&M deal will make a difference for most people. And from what I can see, I'm not sure the leaders of Girard and Youngstown are interested in making this area a wonderful place to live.

Somebody will get paid, but it's likely not going to be the majority of people in the Mahoning Valley.

Complaining or debating here will do nothing, so instead, go out, talk with your neighbors, and start thinking of ways to improve this situation.

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4DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

400 employees making 60-70k?

That is easily the most ludicrous thing I have read on this site in months. You expect me to believe there are 400 jobs making 60-70k a year. What planet are these people on?
Where are we at NYC, Chicago?
Think about that for a second, 400 jobs at 60-70k in the mahoning valley? Unfathomable.

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5DonHarshbarger(22 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Would you people stop whining about land and jobs. It's new jobs that are coming to the area. Any job here is better than no job and why are we arguing over petty invisible lines. Lets start thinking about the bigger picture here instead of our own wants. I say to Jay "you do whatever it takes to get this here"

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6YoungstownFan(2 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

We need the jobs!

Lets see, some would make 20.00 plus overtime and bonuses! I can see them making 60-70K.

Lets go Youngstown!

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7Attis(861 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

That's encouraging news, especially the part about Melfi keeping his mouth shut; hopefully that is sign that he has finally had his wings clipped and will either move out of the way of this project or have his stupid objections overridden by council. In the meantime, he can cry over a beer at Kuzman's and watch the community go forward in creating good jobs across the street and dancing a good polka on the floor.

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8NachoCheese(161 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

So Girard is being told (wink wink) by Jay that they can have half the taxes. Fine, leave the boundaries alone and split the taxes - I'm sure Girard would be willing to do the JEDD thing Jay was so sold on when trying to take over Austintown Boardman and Canfield last year ...

Right now this is nothing more than a land grab attempt by Jay. What the future brings will hapen, or not happen, with or without whatever Jay thinks.

If you believe everything he is trying to sell you right now, I know of a blimp factory in Vienna that someone might try to sell you on... or how about a commuter aircraft factory - Jay is playing on the emotions of people who are so desperate for things to be like they used to be decades ago that he thinks he can fool everyone. As the city folk like to say when they were squawking about breaking the law on residency requirements, they knew this land was in Girard before they started putting this together - the fact that nothing other than a boundary line on a map will change is reason enough alone to leave it all alone.

Alternatively, I say it's time for Mahoning County to start declaring open season on the current borders of Youngstown. After all, two can play this game. Howland and Leavitsburg, let's go - get going after Warren - take back the land they are mis-using or not using...

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