Plant would employ 700, company’s owner says
By Jeanne Starmack
A Pittsburgh-based company that owns 113 acres of industrial property in Campbell and Youngstown is planning to build a steel mill there.
Sherman International Corp. would like to build a mill for cold-rolling coils on the 40 acres it owns in Campbell, said company representatives.
The mill would employ 700 people, said company owner Krishna Sharma.
The plan hinges on the city’s obtaining grants for the company to assess and then clean up the site. Company and public officials attended a public hearing Tuesday at the Campbell city building on the application for the Clean Ohio funds.
The plan also depends on the city’s getting grants for infrastructure for the project, said Mayor George Krinos.
If all goes as planned, Krinos said, the company would like to expand the mill onto its Youngstown property eventually, with the expectation of 3,500 jobs in all.
Krinos said he also would like to see the city build a bridge from Wilson Avenue into the brownfields and would like to see city-owned land along Wilson Avenue turned over to developers. He said he envisions stores and restaurants along Wilson that would attract workers from the new mill.
After Tuesday’s hearing, the application for $300,000 to assess the property for cleanup will be forwarded to the Clean Ohio program, said Jim Smith of Brownfield Restoration Group. His company will do the assessment and restoration.
If the project goes as hoped, the mill is still years away from being built.
Smith said that if the grant is approved, the project is three months away from getting the funds.
The assessment itself, to determine what chemicals and metals are in the soil, will take a year to 18 months, he said.
He said the city likely would be applying for funds for the actual cleanup in January 2012. The cleanup grant, which would provide $3 million, would allow 30 months to complete the work.
Smith said the company could begin construction while the site is being cleaned up if there are portions of it that don’t need remediation.
The 40 acres is part of the old Youngstown Sheet and Tube seamless tube mill, said Smith.
“It’s something I’m very excited about,” said Krinos, adding that he’s been working with state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-33rd, and former Struthers council President Bob Carcelli Jr. on the proposal.
“This will revitalize Campbell,” he said.
Carcelli said he is working as a liaison between Sherman International and local and state officials.
“I lined up Sherman International,” he said Tuesday, adding that he went to Sharma last year with the idea of developing business on the property.
Sherman International has been in business for 30 years, said Mona Mattson, its human resource and finance manager. It is a family business, said Mattson, who is Sharma’s daughter.
Mattson said the company designs steel mills and provides equipment for them.
Sharma said there will be an important distinction between the new mill and the old mills that shut down.
“It will be new technology,” she said. “You have to compete with imports.”