Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The Baltimore County Council passed a slew of bills on Monday during its legislative session, including the zoning for a cold rolling mill in the Middle River area.
All the bills on the docket were passed unanimously, with the exception of a bill dealing with the Executive Branch. Councilman Wade Kach, a Republican from the 3rd District, voted against the bill, which would have clarified the executive’s power to appoint or remove department leaders without council approval.
“I believe that, I mean the council is giving up power,” Kach said, “we are giving up power and our major responsibility really is zoning. I think that it’s only proper that we, since we deal with zoning so much, that we should have some role in the removal of the director of the Office of Planning.”
Approval of the cold rolling mill zoning bill opens the door for about 150 manufacturing jobs in Middle River. According to the bill, a cold rolling mill manufactures metals where metals or metal alloys are heated, and rolled into a coil form. The heating facilities in these mills are not capable of reaching temperatures greater than 500 degrees Celsius. Hot rolling mills reach temperatures exceeding 500 degrees Celsius.
Sixth District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins sponsored the mill zoning bill, which adds language to allow cold rolling mills in the industrial districts of Baltimore County.
“The location itself will have no emissions,” said Bevins, a Democrat. “All operations will occur indoors. The noise is nothing out of the ordinary for that manufacturing zone and this was supported by the Essex-Middle River Civics Council.
”I couldn’t be happier to bring 150 manufacturing jobs to Middle River,” Bevins added.
Councilman Todd K. Crandell, a 7th District Republican, voiced support for the bill.
“We have ore and slag running through our veins … it kinda touches me that we are bringing steel back to east side,” Crandell said.