Post & Courier reported that the Georgetown Board of Zoning Appeals voted on 6 July 2022 to finalize adoption of Liberty Steel’s appeal of a February determination by a former city zoning administrator that could have shut down the company’s Georgetown mill. That vote leaves the city of Georgetown 30 days from the mailing of the 6 July order to appeal the board’s June decision allowing the mill to stay open. Board chairwoman Ede Graves told Georgetown Times that the order will be mailed 7 July, which would leave the city until 6 August to file an appeal to circuit court. The fight between Georgetown and the mill centers around whether Liberty’s prolonged closing during the COVID outbreak triggered a zoning change that would shut down the plant for good. If the plant was closed for a year, that would trigger a zoning change from industrial to commercial that would stop the plant from producing steel wire used in tires and bridge cables as it has for decades. Liberty Steel reopened in mid-January with 65 workers just before what the company’s believed was the end of the one-year deadline. Georgetown interim Zoning Administrator Mr Chris Inglese ruled soon after the plant reopened that the clock started months sooner, triggering the zoning change. That decision led to Liberty asking for a hearing before the city’s seven-member Zoning Board of Appeals. The sides also argued over the status of Liberty Steel’s business license with Georgetown officials saying the company let it lapse at the end of April, and the mill countering its application has not been processed by the city.Georgetown city leaders, including Mayor Ms Carol Jayroe, wanted to turn the 50-acre site near Georgetown’s picturesque riverfront into a development of hotels, shops and restaurants that would help attract more visitors to the state’s third-oldest city. Citing the city’s redevelopment district ordinance, Georgetown deemed the mill was not allowed to reopen after being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city could appeal the board’s decision in state court.LIBERTY is one of the leading manufacturers of wire rod in US with EAF melting and rolling facilities located in Illinois and South Carolina. The business, which is vertically integrated, converting substantially all products from recycled steel scrap, includes a major wire drawing facility in Pennsylvania as well as a number of service, distribution and recycling centres. Employing 1,500 people across 16 locations, LIBERTY Steel USA has an annual steel rolling capacity of over 2 million tonnes.