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Sparrows Point Steel Making is History

"A century of steel making as we know it has come to an end" in Baltimore County, says County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The future of more than five miles of land in Sparrows Point no longer lies in in the steel mills.

Owners of the former RG Steel plant plan to sell off a $300 million cold mill and eventually raze the buildings on the property, selling the remains for scrap. A second company that owns the land will end up being responsible for helping the county shape the future of the industrial land, according to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

"A century of steel-making as we know it has come to an end," said Kamenetz during a Thursday news conference.

Kamenetz said Hilco Trading which owns some of the buildings and equipment, "plans to liquidate every asset and bring the structures down to the ground."

The announcement brings an end to the plant that had seen its share of financial troubles dating back three decades—first as a result of cheap foriegn steel and more recently a worldwide glut of the commodity.

About 2,000 employees will lose their jobs permanently.

"We don't have any indication that these jobs will come back in the form they knew," Kamenetz said.

"We don't have hope," said the county executive, adding "we do have help."

The county will spend more than $1 million to hire four more workers to do outreach work with displaced steel workers. This is in addition to three county Economic Development employees already doing such work out of an office in Eastpoint.

Meanwhile, the county says it is looking ahead to the future of the waterfront property that is zoned for industrial manufacturing and is roughly the size of White Marsh.

"We're tough here in Baltimore County," Kamenetz said. "We get knocked down and we get back up. We're going to bring thousands of jobs back to this penninsula. We have a game plan in place."

Kamenetz said the county had been preparing for the worst case scenario.

"The handwriting was pretty much on the wall," he said of the expected closure of the plant.

Part of the county's vision for the future of the mill property relies on a work group the county formed earlier this year to look at future uses of the property.

Dan Gundersen, director of Economic Development for the county, said that future could lie in the expansion of the Port of Baltimore as well as other logistical and manufacturing businesses.

"It's really going to open up a lot of opportunity," Gundersen said.

Kamenetz said he expects that Environmental Liability Transfer, the owner of the land and some buildings, will be a partner in that development.

"We expect ELT, as the landowner, to make that future happen," Kamenetz said.

Arbutus Town Crier December 14, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Sanchez, That's hard to do when the comments are deleted !
FIFA December 14, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Yea right Joe, you were deleted by the Patch. I don't delete my comments. Is that you crybaby that deletes their comments?
Arbutus Town Crier December 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
No I don't delete anyone Free Speech is not against the law, the self painted bigot is also not against the law. I would not delete Fefe, has every right to paint himself! right Joe?
Sanchez December 14, 2012 at 09:17 PM
just click on Fifi's name, then click on "comments" and see most every one of its replies contains the name of some other poster who is in his sights and a snide slur to that poster. Go there and see for yourselves. Many many include my name as his target dujour.
FIFA December 14, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Whoopee, just click on Joe's name.... Oh, that is right, his account was deleted. My, my, my...
Jim O'Toole December 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Steve, That is a rather callus attitude to have. It is hard to believe That your brain would allow your ass to utter them words.This downward trend started many years ago with the plant suffering in the market place....
Needaname December 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Twenty bucks says there will be a casino and a River Boat to bring you up from the Inner Harbor ! I remember 45 years ago driving down that way. My Dad in Management at The Point. Very sad.
Needaname December 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I agree. Where are the Unions ?
Needaname December 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Sanchez - Steve and Fifa are Trolls. Thanks for you intelligent input. I learn some NEW things today.
Arbutus Town Crier December 15, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Sanchez I agree with Needaname ! This is what input we need on Patch VIVA Sanchez ! ! Enjoy everything.... Great read!
D.W. Bramlett December 15, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Another Hershey Park would be nice (after you sprayed it with Lysol & covered it in concrete).
Needaname December 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM
A Hershey Park would be a great idea, and throw in a River Boat to take people back and forth from the Inner Harbor. I wonder how they would de-contaminate the landscape.
ravcolm December 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I believe it is time to seriously think about replacing the 2000 jobs with ones that are real and well paying. This will help the community, county and region. The industrial land, owned by ELT and not the county, is exploring long term alternatives for its use. It's strategic location on deepwater and a still active freight rail sytem makes it a rather unique and potentially sought-after peninsula found nowhere else in Maryland, or perhaps the east coast. It is time for the community get behind a logical and well thought through future for the acreage. New and real jobs are the key. Hopefully, logic will prevail.
jack friese December 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
What would any reasonable person expect? Stay in Maryland and struggle every day fending off the regulations, politicians and red tape by the many agencies whose sole purpose is to increase the cost of doing business in Maryland Under O'Malley, Kamenetz and their cronies, Maryland is so anti business, filled with taxes, permits, regulations,harassment, red tape and other nonsense, companies are fleeing from our once Great State. The exodus will continue at increasing rates with business and families running, not walking out of this State. Just how many companies and how many thousands jobs have been lost under the O'Malley administration? What a shame, Maryland is in the toilet and there is no excuse that this wonderful business in now finished because of union demands, Government stupidity and economic realities of trying to run a business in Maryland. Maryland needs to be a right to work State so business can compete on a fair basis. Our General Assembly should look into the reasons why The Sparrows Point Steel Mill is being razed. Start with Kamanetz and ask him, Mr. County Executive what did you do specifically to try to save this 2,000 person employee company. When he has no answers ask the same questions to Governor O'Malley and his brain trusts. Then go to the General Assembly and remember their answers in 2014 then let's thrown the bums out! Wake up folks it is almost too late. Business and citizens are not ATM's for the State of Maryland. Or are they?
William Lutostanski Jr December 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM
How about the LPG Plant? That could have been in the process of being built right now, putting people to work. Now Sparrows Point is an empty wasteland generating no revenue for anyone. Would a LPG plant really be worse then a giant steel making plant ? I can't imagine it would.
Steve December 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM
The plants in West Virginia are belly up too. Is that the Governor's fault ? If you don't like it here then move.
Steve December 15, 2012 at 05:02 PM
....and Benzene. The levels of Benzene (a Carcinogen) are 100,000 times the established safe limit in Bear Creek. But yet people let their kids swim in it.......
Steve December 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Sanchez 3:07 pm on Friday, December 14, 2012 Fifi, just look at these deaths as retro active abortions which you have no problem with. Arbutus Town Crier 9:17 pm on Friday, December 14, 2012 Sanchez I agree with Needaname ! This is what input we need on Patch VIVA Sanchez ! ! Enjoy everything.... Great read! Yep, Birds of a feather.
jack friese December 15, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I partially agree with Rob J Kamenetez is and idiot, and political hack; but, is smart enough to get some hefty "pay outs" for his "employment" with the State of Maryland. It is no wonder this County and State are damn near bankrupt. Under the current administration, another two years will push this State over the fiscal cliff and O'Malley's buddy in the White House will bail Maryland out of this mess. This is really a bad joke on Maryland citizens!
DAN December 15, 2012 at 05:20 PM
There is no "logical and well thought through future for the acreage". The community was deliberately left out of the Sparrows Point Partnership. Your comments reflect the opinion of County government and the Port. Baltimore County has a plan for the peninsula, but it is not one that will make this area a better place to live.
DAN December 15, 2012 at 05:22 PM
That's LNG, and you've got to be joking!
William Lutostanski Jr December 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
My bad LNG is correct. I am not joking Dan. It is an industrial area I do not see the problem with this type of plant in this area. Jobs , Jobs, Jobs !!!!
Steve December 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
The pipeline easements are already in place.
ravcolm December 15, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Dan, I am ex-railroader who understands how valuable it is to have two class one RR's (CSX and NS) be able to bring and take goods out of an area. That provides an excellent competitive environment. I don't represent the county or the port, only speaking facts. You raise a good point, however. Who from the community should be involved? Do they care about developing industrial land for new jobs? What should be the goal for the community?
DAN December 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM
That important question doesn't have one good answer. The community has been left out of the conversation. Perhaps port expansion or more dirty industries would not be favored by area residents.
Brad Metheny December 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM
It was never about anything else but freeing up the land from the steel company's
Jim O'Toole December 18, 2012 at 05:18 AM
I have been reading alot of the comments by various individuals who sound like they are very knowledgeable with the current situation at the Sparrows Point Plant. I guess the truth of the matter is what will be done next. The truth of the matter is that nothing will be done unless we stop the finger pointing to place blame. Yes maybe we should take a hard look at what went wwrong. But do it honestly
Mark Cook December 20, 2012 at 01:52 PM
just show up,you don't have to work,look at the Damn union then take a good look at your self.I would be down there working on the caster's and RG's people would be on break all damn day long.what a bunch of crap.you people supported the people that cost us all our jobs.
Mark Cook December 20, 2012 at 02:30 PM
our local government,and local 9477 new all along what was going too happen.as for the worker's they should have worked their Damn jobs instead of the damn break room.I worked on the steel caster's and if and when they were down,they could care less.they wanted overtime so they could set on their asses and get a pay check.It may not been all of them,but there was more people not working then there was working.and that's a Damn shame.
Mark Cook December 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
we would rather you leave,go set on your ass at the hall on Dundalk ave. and wait too be bull shitted again.what a stupid ass. you can follow O'Malley's stupid ass to Washington maybe.

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