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County approves estoppel with Steel Dynamics


Nathan Gregory



Lowndes County supervisors on Friday approved providing an estoppel certificate to a company that has announced plans to purchase the Severstal steel plant. 


The document is a legal principle that keeps a party from alleging or denying a fact determined in a previous official proceeding.  


County board attorney Tim Hudson said the certificate states the county was unaware of any deficiencies or shortcomings on the part of Severstal before it was sold to Steel Dynamics, an Indiana-based company that said last month that it would purchase the plant by the end of the year. 


County administrator Ralph Billingsley said tax assessor Greg Andrews told him Severstal has paid everything it has owed to the county to present. 


Golden Triangle Planning and Development District project coordinator George Crawford said he has been in contact with the Mississippi Development Authority, which also has to sign a copy. He said officials from Steel Dynamics will be on hand to monitor Severstal operations next month. 


Steel Dynamics has said it would pay Severstal, which is based in Russia, about $1.6 billion for the Lowndes County plant, which is located on 1,400 acres near Airport Road. 


The sale has been approved by both companies' boards of directors. The plant employs about 650 people. Steel Dynamics officials previously said they have no plans of changing the plant's operation. 


In other business:  


■ Supervisors agreed to withhold the county's scheduled $4,000 to Earl Harris for cleanup of the old Crawford school building until it is deemed satisfactorily complete. Billingsley said he viewed the site Thursday and saw a bulldozer, backhoe and dump truck on the property. "It appeared to be enough debris left to go into that one dump truck," Billingsley said. "I feel like he's probably finished it up. We can certainly get some eyes on it to make sure." 


■ Supervisors approved a resolution requesting the county transfer 241 acres to the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority. The land is located near the Golden Triangle Aerospace Park; 


■ Supervisors approved an additional $6,642 in architecture fees to JBHM for work on the CalStar plant. The rest of the payments to JBHM have been paid for through a CAP loan; 


■ Supervisors proved a request from the Emergency Management Agency to relocate a weather siren from the old New Hope fire station to the Highway 69 station.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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