Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Sparks are flying in steel country Riverdale mill is eyeing Forest Preserve land, but district says no to a swap

Monday, March 21, 2005
Crain's Chicago Business
by Bob Tita

A showdown between the Cook County Forest Preserve District and what's soon to be the world's largest steelmaker threatens to scuttle plans for a $300-million expansion at a south suburban steel mill that could double its output and add 100 jobs.


International Steel Group Inc. (ISG) — which is being folded into Netherlands steel conglomerate Mittal Steel Co. — says it needs 21 acres next to its Riverdale mill to build a furnace to melt scrap metal.


The trouble is, that's Forest Preserve land.


ISG is offering to swap 24 acres of wooded property that it owns nearby for the 21 acres it wants from the Forest Preserve. But so far, the district hasn't shown much interest in ISG's offer.


Forest Preserve officials fear that approving the swap would give other companies a green light to pursue slices of the district's 68,000 acres.


"Historically, we've not engaged in these kinds of deals," says a district spokesman. "We have a land-use policy that severely limits what we can do with our land. I doubt very highly that this could ever happen."


Riverdale officials and other south suburban leaders, including U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Chicago, have been lobbying county officials to support the swap, arguing that the expansion is an opportunity to bring steel jobs and additional tax dollars to an area where thousands of jobs have evaporated in the past 15 years.
"If it means bringing economic development to a community, we should at least look at it," says County Commissioner Deborah Sims, whose district includes Riverdale. "To just say, 'We don't do land swaps' doesn't make sense."


FOR TOWN, MUCH TO LOSE


Without a solution, Riverdale leaders fear ISG will dismantle the plant and move it out of state or overseas. "That would be devastating to Riverdale," says Village Administrator William Cooper.


ISG declines to say what it will do if it can't reach a deal with the Forest Preserve.


The ISG plant is Riverdale's largest single property tax payer, accounting for 20% of its tax revenue. When the plant's previous owner, Acme Metals Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998, the village lost more than $4 million in taxes before Ohio-based ISG acquired the mill in 2002 for $65 million.


With ISG shareholders expected to approve the Mittal merger April 12, observers say there would be no shortage of sites for relocating the Riverdale operation. The new company will have mills throughout the world with a combined production of 60 million tons of steel a year.


The Riverdale mill, which was largely rebuilt by Acme in the late 1990s, is hemmed in on three sides by railroad tracks and other factories, leaving the Forest Preserve land on the mill's north side as the most likely spot for a furnace, which would require about 100 additional workers. That's on top of the 282 who already work at the plant.


Supporters of the expansion say the forest land eyed by ISG is inaccessible to the public and far from the picnic grove and golf range at the Whistler Woods preserve. Moreover, the wooded land offered to the district on the north bank of the Little Calumet River could have public access off 127th Street.


"They'd be getting more land and more valuable land," says Riverdale Mayor Zanovia Evans. "To us, it's a logical swap."

 

 



Recent Headlines

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Improvements planned for Green Bay Road in Evanston as part of long-term project
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judicial candidate Arthur Sutton has history of disciplinary issues
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Injustice Watch

Area legislators dish on policy plans that impact seniors
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pappas and other Cook County, Chicago and federal elected officials urge residents to return the 2020 Census questionnaire
Monday, February 03, 2020
Daily Herald

Plans for new Provident Hospital paused
Monday, February 03, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP