County throws support behind Prop 5

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.

— Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors are ready to put their support behind the land swap between NYCO Minerals and the state of New York.

Members of the board gave an unanimous second to a resolution to support Prop. 5 during the Sept. 30 Ways and Means Committee meeting. It will now go before the full board for passage Oct. 7.

Lewis Supervisor David Blades presented the resolution to the members of the board.

County Chairman and Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said support for the proposition had been building around the state.

“We have been working with the Association of Counties, and they have passed a resolution in support,” Douglas said.

He added that he knew there was still work to do in getting the word out across the state.

“It is unfortunate that this is a statewide vote and we have to educate all of the voters about this,” Douglas said. “It is such a North Country issue and something that is so important for us here that we need to let everyone in the state know how important this is.”

Newcomb Supervisor George Canon added voters also needed to be educated on where the proposition would be located on the ballot.

“The resolution will be on the back side of the ballot and you have to turn the ballot over in order to vote on the proposition,” Canon said. “We need to make sure that our people know that.”

Mark Buckley, environmental health, safety and quality manager for NYCO, attended the meeting.

“That was good to hear that we received an unanimous second from the board,” Buckley said.

The county board approval joined several other government agencies. The proposed land swap has also been endorsed by numerous labor unions and environmental groups, including the Adirondack Council.

“We have worked with them very closely to fulfil their criteria of what a good land swap would entail,” Buckley said. “The Adirondack Mountain Club has also been very supportive.”

Buckley said that the AFL/CIO United Steelworker’s Union, which represents employees at the Lewis and Willsboro-based facilities, was helping spread the message for support statewide along with the Adirondack Council.

He added that NYCO has also set up a website (adirondacklandswap.com) and Facebook Page (search Adirondack Land Swap) to help with statewide promotion.

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