September 3, 2014 10:23:00 AM
The sale of Russia-based Severstal may be slowed down due to sanctions the United States currently has on the country.
As a result, Lowndes County supervisors had to update an estoppel certificate to a company that has announced plans to buy the plant to be more in line with the date of the transfer.
During their meeting Tuesday, supervisors authorized Board President Harry Sanders to sign the updated agreement with Steel Dynamics, an Indiana-based company that in July announced plans to purchase the plant by January for approximately $1.6 billion. The facility is located on 1,400 acres near Airport Road and employs about 650 people.
In May, a federal judge temporarily barred the Pentagon from making a business deal with a Russian-based supplier of rocket engines used to send U.S. military and intelligence satellites into space, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal. The injunction cited U.S. President Barack Obama's executive order issuing sanctions against the country due to its "violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."
Sanders noted those sanctions apply to the proposed transaction between Severstal and Steel Dynamics.
"If they sanction the owner of Severstal and say he can't do business in the United States, that means they can't sell the company," Sanders said. "Hopefully they'll get this resolved before anything drastic happens."
In other business, the board voted in favor of a co-op agreement between East Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department and Lowndes County Volunteer Fire Department for the former to provide fire services to Mayhew. This includes East Mississippi Community College and would impact more than a dozen residences. The ongoing agreement between the two county fire departments is designed to provide faster response times to the area.
LCVFD fire services coordinator Sammy Fondren said the agreement goes beyond typical mutual aid agreements between neighboring fire departments. He added that the move would also improve the district from a Class 10 to a Class 8 area, which would mean a 35 percent insurance reduction for property owners.
Under the plan, if firefighters respond to a call in the area, there's a $50-per-call rate with an extra $200 hourly fee that could be placed against the owner's insurance as a claim.
"They're not going to see any kind of bill unless (firefighters) actually come out there," Fondren said. "That's an agreement between the residents and East Oktibbeha County (Volunteer Fire Department). If a call comes into Lowndes County, they're going to, in turn, dispatch East Oktibbeha as the first responding unit in. Lowndes County District 5 will still continue to come there as a secondary resource."
Fondren and Oktibbeha County fire services coordinator Kirk Rosenhan began working on the co-op last year.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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