August 20, 2014

Elyria
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$75M in bonds OK’d for U.S. Steel expansion

ELYRIA — Lorain County commissioners announced Wednesday that they were authorizing the Lorain County Port Authority to issue $75 mil­lion in recovery zone bonds to U.S. Steel for the planned expansion of its Lorain facility.

The expansion is projected to create about 80 jobs and preserve 508 others.

It includes the design and installation of machinery to heat, treat and finish tubing and casing products for the exploration for natural gas. The company is moving this proj­ect from Texas because of area demand for the products.

Lorain County administrator James Cordes said many of the jobs are trade jobs that have been so hard to come by in recent years.

“When you’re out of work, the unemployment rate in your eyes is 100 percent,” he said.

The issue will go to public hearing sometime in the next few weeks, he said, and will be ready for the Lorain County Port Authority by the end of the year.

The work of securing the bonds has been continuing since July, Cordes said.

Recovery zone bonds are a lower-cost way to finance pub­lic and private projects in eco­nomically struggling areas or areas with high unemploy­ment. Allocations are set to expire at the end of this year.

Initially, the commissioners began working on getting about $45 million in recovery zone bonds. The state granted $40 million. Then, U.S. Steel came back and said it needed more, so the commissioners, along with local representa­tives, went back to the state and secured another $35 mil­lion.

“This was the only project (Lorain County) was asking for,” Cordes said. Almost 60 other projects around the state were up for allocations, he said.

Contact Melissa Hebert at 329-7129 or mhebert@chroniclet.com.