Printed on: October 05, 2012

Cives deliberation moved to next week

By Alex Stuckey

UCON -- Members of the City Council heard more than five hours of testimony Wednesday night and Thursday morning but made no decision on a rezoning request that would allow Cives Steel Co. to build a plant here.

The public hearing adjourned at 12:15 a.m. Thursday. Council members will deliberate the rezoning request at their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. That meeting, which will be held in the Ucon Elementary School gymnasium, is open to the public but no further testimony will be heard.

Cives is a Georgia-based company that employs about 1,000 people at its six steel fabricating facilities in six states. The company needs council approval before it can build its seventh plant in Ucon. If approved, the new facility would be located at 997 N. Yellowstone Highway. Today, that area is farmland.

Cives officials spoke for 21/2 hours Wednesday night, citing jobs and quiet and safe working conditions the company would bring to Ucon.

Public testimony did not begin until nearly 10 p.m.

Cives President Craig Alderman also addressed a number of safety violations reported at the company's other facilities. Those violations were the subject of a story that appeared in Tuesday's edition of the Post Register.

During the past 10 years, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration cited Cives for 72 safety violations at its facilities. In July, the Cives facility in Maine received a $132,000 fine -- the seventh highest initial OSHA fine levied on a fabricated structural metal facility in 10 years.

In a guest column in Wednesday's paper, Alderman noted that Cives received the 2011 American Institute of Steel award for safety. In speaking during Wednesday's hearing at Ucon he said, "We at Cives take safety very seriously."

Alex Stuckey can be reached at 542-6755.

If you go

What: Ucon City Council meets to consider a rezoning request for Cives Steel Co.

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Ucon Elementary School gymnasium, 10841 N. 41 East