Chamber says owners of former RG Steel mill want to keep CSX rail line active


Staff report

WARREN

A Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce official told the Trumbull County commissioners the chamber is working with owners of the former RG Steel mill south of the city to help them to acquire the former CSX rail line that runs past the mill.

CSX indicated this spring it wants to abandon the line, which runs from Niles through Warren and into Newton Falls. The line has not been used for at least two years. Abandonment involves removing the rails.

But Shea MacMillan, the chamber’s business development manager, and Sarah Boyarko, the chamber’s senior vice president for economic development, said Wednesday the chamber has worked with BDM Warren Steel Holdings, and BDM wants to keep it as an active rail line.

“BDM has 400 acres of industrial land, and we’re working on a number of projects that are contingent on dual service to that parcel,” MacMillan told the commissioners.

In addition to the CSX line, the former mill property is served by Norfolk-Southern.

Boyarko said the CSX rail line is of more value to BDM active than without rails. She said she thinks BDM “has the option right now” to acquire the line over any of the other parties that have expressed an interest.

MacMillan said there are also “abutting properties” along the rail line interested in keeping it an active rail line.

BDM, which is owned by Chuck Betters, Vic DiGeronimo and Steve Muck, has a history of redeveloping former industrial properties like this, including one in Aliquippa, Pa., MacMillan and Boyarko said.

An attempt to reach Mike Bechtold, BDM Warren Steel Holdings general manager, was unsuccessful late Wednesday.

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