By jeanne starmack
A cleanup of old industrial property for a planned steel mill will begin either this winter or spring.
Jim Smith, an official of Brownfield Restoration Group, which is overseeing the nearly $2 million cleanup, said the paperwork is in order for the city to receive that money from a Clean Ohio Revitalization grant.
“Now the city can hire contractors,” Smith said.
Smith said work could begin in the winter, but bad weather could delay it.
Sherman Metals Technologies LLC, a Pittsburgh company, owns 110 acres in the brownfields along the Mahoning River. Forty of those acres are in Campbell; 70 are in Youngstown.
The company wants to build a cold rolling mill on the Campbell land, said officials Monday as they gathered near the property.
“Sherman Metals is committed to putting a mill down here, but the property has to be clean first,” said Robert Carcelli, a spokesman for the company.
He said the mill would employ 400 people.
“One steel job brings a spinoff of seven other jobs,” he said.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, said Sherman also “has to come to the table with private equity.”
“Regardless, we’re putting money into the ground to clean up this area for business,” he said.
The city applied for the Clean Ohio grants to prepare the property, which included an assessment grant of $300,000, to determine what pollutants were there and how to remove them.
Smith said the cleanup will include removing oil that’s floating on the surface of the groundwater table. He said there are isolated pockets of contamination to clean, and remnants of old building foundations have to be removed.
Youngstown received a $300,000 grant this year to assess the 70 acres within its border. The mill will be built in Campbell regardless of what happens at the Youngstown property, Carcelli said.
“Every day in the Mahoning Valley, we’re trying to bring funds from Columbus,” Schiavoni said.
“Our city has probably been hit the worst,” said Campbell Mayor Bill VanSuch, referring to the recent 35th anniversary of Black Monday. Youngstown Sheet & Tube announced the closing of its Campbell and Struthers works Sept. 19, 1977.
“We’re looking at any way to entice jobs,” he said, adding that the city is fortunate to have been awarded the grant.