Trump Trade War - Rising Steel Costs Delay Local Project In Ohio

- Jul 06, 2018-

 Daily Call reported that increasing steel costs are delaying the construction of a local city project. City Manager Gary Huff updated the Piqua City Commission on the status of the new Health and Sanitation facility during the commission’s meeting on Tuesday evening, explaining that the construction of the building is being delayed due to the rising cost of steel. Mr Huff said that “We are going to delay the construction of that project. It’s really related to the cost of steel. This is not the time to proceed. We’re seeing tremendous steel price increases, and we want to wait and see if this issue works out with the tariffs.”
 
Mr Huff alluded to the 25 percent tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on steel imports in March, affecting US allies on May 31.

The cost of domestic steel is also on the rise. The Associated Press reported that the cost of US hot rolled coil steel has risen approximately 40 percent since the beginning of this year, citing a representative from S&P Global Platts. US cold rolled coil also appears to be on the rise but at a slower rate, according to price assessment providers.
 
Mr Huff said that “We will be holding off moving forward on that until we feel it’s the appropriate time that we can get better prices on the project.”

The new Health and Sanitation facility has been in planning for over a year. In June 2017, the commission approved entering into an agreement with Levin Porter Architects for the design and construction management for the new Health and Sanitation Facility at a cost not to exceed USD 202,950. In April of this year, the commission approved a contract with Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio for the installation of gas facilities at 156 Robert M Davis Parkway for the new Health and Sanitation facility at a cost not to exceed USD 61,250.

The construction contract of the project had not yet been awarded, but commissioner John Martin alluded to the estimated cost of the construction of the building being over USD 2 million in a discussion about increases to trash collection fees in February.
 
Commissioner Kris Lee also commented on the project delay. He said that “I watch the news every day. A lot of times it does not hit quite at home, and this hits at home. The stuff that’s going on out in the larger world is actually affecting us here in Piqua. It’s disappointing. It’s a little frustrating, but hopefully things will change and get to the point where … it’ll be affordable for us to build the facility we want to build.”

The commission also held a joint meeting with Washington Township Trustees on Tuesday evening, approving sending a renewal levy with an increase to the Miami County Board of Elections to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot. The approval was unanimous.
 
The tax levy would be a renewal of 0.5 mills with an increase of 0.2 mills. The levy shall not exceed 0.70 mills for each USD 1 of valuation, which amounts to USD 0.07 for each USD 100 of valuation, according to the resolution. The levy would also be for five years.

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