Bozanich: Decision expected within 10 days on Youngstown pipe-threading plant

By David Skolnick


A decision by a Vallourec Star sister company to build an $81.5 million steel-pipe threading plant in Youngstown is coming soon, said city Finance Director David Bozanich.

“We’ll hear in the next 10 days on whether” the company, VAM USA LLC “is going through with the project,” Bozanich said Wednesday to city council members.

“We’re pretty close [to finishing] negotiations,” Bozanich told The Vindicator. “We hope to get a positive response.”

A week ago, Bozanich said a decision was expected in 30 days, but on Wednesday he said 10 days because negotiations are going well.

Council approved legislation Wednesday to give VAM a $369,000 grant.

The company would use the money for a retention pond to prevent flooding for that business and others nearby, and for water and wastewater infrastructure, Bozanich said.

The company is debating whether to buy or lease the property from the city for the mill.

Either way, the company will make a payment to the city, Bozanich said. The amount is not finalized but will be about $350,000, he said.

VAM officials issued a statement last week confirming it is negotiating with the city on a potential pipe-processing plant in the city’s Ohio Works Business Park.

The company would build the plant at the former Genmak Steel site, about a mile away from Vallourec Star’s facilities in the Brier Hill Business Park. The Brier Hill location includes the company’s $1.1 billion expansion plant that opened in October 2012.

VAM plans to hire 84 full-time workers by next year with an estimated payroll of $2.9 million to $3.7 million, according to its tax-abatement application.

The Genmak building was constructed in 2003 for the leveling and cutting of steel coil and storage, and has been empty for a few years.

The city’s agreement with VAM, should the company build the threading plant here, also calls for a 10-year, 75-percent real-property-tax abatement, and for the city to waive water and wastewater tap-in fees and permits.

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