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NYCO Prop receives state approval

A wall of Wollastonite, the gray colored exposed mineral, can be seen immediately adjacent to state owned Lot 8.

A wall of Wollastonite, the gray colored exposed mineral, can be seen immediately adjacent to state owned Lot 8. Photo by Shawn Ryan.

— NYCO Minerals will be doing business with the state of New York.

Voters throughout the state of New York voted 1,137,074 in favor of a land swap between the mineral mining company and the state, while 1,006,525 voted against the measure. The 53-47 percent vote was the closest of the six propositions sent out to voters in the Nov. 5 General Election.

In the deal, NYCO will receive a 200 acre parcel known as Lot 8 in the town of Lewis which holds Wollastonite, a mineral used in paint, plastics used in the automobile industry, brake pads and linings, ceramics and construction materials. The Lewis site is one of only two functioning Wollastonite mines in the United States. In exchange, NYCO turn over 1,500 acres to the state.

Also, NYCO will return the 200 acres to the state after they have completed mining operations, which officials believe will keep the Willsboro-based company viable for another 10 years.

The Proposition received state-wide support from several organizations and unions, including the Adirondack Council. Executive Director Willie Janeway described the land swap as a, "win-win" for the state and NYCO.

"We laid out our principles and said if you meet these, then we will support it, and they did," Janeway said.

Lewis Supervisor David Blades said he was, "extremely happy," with the result.

"It is so needed, obviously," Blades said. "The jobs that this company provides locally are needed here, and this shows that the rest of the state is looking at this and saying that they, too, are supporting these jobs."

Blades gave credit to the Adirondack Council for their support on the proposition.

"They were very strong with their support," he said. "If we did not have that, I do not know if we would have had gained the support of the other organizations that we did."

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