Resolution would require U.S. steel for purchases by Baltimore County

April 15, 1999|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County won't be buying any imported steel without a fight.

County Councilman John Olszewski, a Dundalk Democrat whose district is home to many Bethlehem Steel Corp. workers, has introduced a resolution requiring the county to continue buying only products made with American-made steel.

His resolution, to be introduced at the council's Monday night meeting, is in response to changes the county Planning Board made in January to two purchasing manuals. Those changes would allow the county to purchase products made from foreign steel, said Tim Dugan, a spokesman for the county planning office.

Each year, the county purchases millions of dollars worth of products made from steel, from bridge supports to manhole covers, county officials say.

Dugan said that the Planning Board amended the Manual of Standards Details and the Manual of Standards Specifications after a Virginia contractor told the board that the ban on steel imports is unfair and costly.

The manuals are updated every four years, Dugan said.

The updates must be approved by the County Council and Olszewski said he could not approve such a change.

Olszewski said similar state and federal policies specify a preference for steel made in the United States. He said his amendment would continue to allow county engineers to waive the U.S. steel requirement in certain cases.

County administration officials say they do not object to Olszewski's resolution.

Pub Date: 4/15/99

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