FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2017
City of Georgetown
CONTACT: Paul Gardner, City Administrator
Response to Press Release by Keith Nagel, ArcelorMittal
In a press release by Mr. Nagel quoted in various media today, he discusses the pending rezoning of the Georgetown Steel Mill. Unfortunately, Mr. Nagel fails to accurately reflect the process that the City of Georgetown has undertaken, the role of the Planning Commission or the process going forward. ArcelorMittal announced in May 2015 that they were permanently closing the Georgetown Steel Mill. In September 2016, the City began steps to participate in its own destiny by changing the land use element for the steel mill and adjacent properties in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The land use for these properties was changed by City Council from heavy industrial to mixed use in the Fall of 2016. It was then, that the City of Georgetown began work on the text amendment for this mixed use zoning. After months of diligent work on this zoning text amendment, it was presented to City Council at their March 16, 2017 meeting. At that same meeting, City Council passed a resolution that directed the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the proposed zoning change and make a report and recommendation back to City Council. Tonight, the Planning Commission will perform this function of government according to State Statutes and City Codes. Where Mr. Nagel’s comments are misleading is that the Planning Commission does not rezone property as they are only a recommending body. Only City Council has the power to rezone property, and whatever the ultimate decision may be will lie with them. The rezoning of the steel mill and adjacent properties will require two readings of City Council. The first reading will not take place before the regular City Council meeting on the third Thursday in May, four weeks from now.
This rezoning process has been ongoing since September 2016, and it has been done at public meetings with ArcelorMittal’s knowledge. The City of Georgetown is simply following the prescribed steps by State Statutes and City Codes to accomplish this most important step for the City’s future.
City officials have reached out to Liberty House Group to open a dialogue regarding its plan for the mill, a timetable for the reopening, and ways the City may assist the company while protecting the interests of all the citizens of the City. As of this writing, Liberty House Group has not communicated with any City, County, or State officials about their plans for the site.
The City of Georgetown looks forward to working with Liberty House Group on this most important project.