New Madrid has hope after steel mill announced in Sedalia, MO
NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - With the announcement of a new steel mill coming to Sedalia, Missouri people in New Madrid, Missouri are wondering if they will be next with a steel mill of their own.
Noranda closed in 2016 and over 900 workers without a job.
In September of that year, the aluminum smelter was sold to a Switzerland based company with the hopes of keeping it alive.
In April of 2017, residents learned that the organization was renamed Magnitude 7 Metals, and might reopen.
Just two months later in June of 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed The Steel Mill bill into law which allows steel mills and smelters to negotiate lower electric rates.
New Madrid City Administrator Richard McGill says thanks to legislation like this, a new steel mill is being proposed within city limits.
McGill says Ameren would assist with the electricity for the possible facility, and there is at least one company looking to break ground.
The proposed facility would be off Highway U in New Madrid near Lilbourn.
So, this year, McGill is hoping New Madrid will have a much better Christmas than last year.
"I think that a lot of things could be announced before Christmas, and it would be a tremendous Christmas gift to individuals in our community," McGill said.
The past year hasn't been easy. Especially for Calvin Kolwyck who worked at Noranda for almost 40 years.
"It's hard for people that I know my age to find a job that pays anything like Noranda paid," Kolwyck said.
Kolwyck is still looking for a job, and he says, he's not the only one.
"We definitely need the jobs around here. There are no jobs. I mean, any type of new jobs would be helpful for tax pays, for the school system, for everyone," Kolwyck said.
And at Fat Frank's Restaurant, they see the county's struggle as well.
"I would love to see everything come back to this town. More than what we had. I mean, you know, you lose nine hundred jobs in one whack, I mean, you want these jobs back," said owner Eric Branum.
Especially after the announcement of a new steel mill in Sedalia.
McGill says it puts them in a good position.
"It's a separate owner. They're still very interested, and probably even more so knowing that Missouri is good ground, and a good state to bring a steel mill to," McGill said.
A place that many people called home.
"They moved away for job opportunities, so to be able to come back home and be around family and friends would mean everything," McGill said.
"That would be a good Christmas present to hear that they're starting back up again. That would be nice," Kolwyck said.
The City Administrator says that if Magnitude 7 Metals comes back and they get a new steel mill, it would bring back around 500 jobs to the area.
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