Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — October 28, 2013

Business Council urges support for Proposal 5; land swap will benefit upstate economy and environment

ALBANY—The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today announced its support for Proposal 5 on the November election ballot, a constitutional amendment that will help protect manufacturing jobs and strengthen the overall economy in the Adirondack Region.

The proposed amendment will authorize New York state to provide a major north country employer, NYCO Minerals, with temporary use of a 200-acre tract of state Forest Preserve land that lies immediately adjacent to NYCO's active wollastonite mine in the Essex County Town of Lewis. NYCO's active mine has just a two-year supply of wollastonite remaining. By acquiring temporary use of the neighboring state land, NYCO will be able to extend the life of its Adirondack operations and its 100 jobs by approximately a decade. In return for this temporary use, NYCO will provide New York state with 1,500 acres of Adirondack forestland that will be added to the Forest Preserve and opened for public recreation. At the conclusion of NYCO's work on the 200-acre tract, the company will reclaim and replant the land and return it to state ownership, while allowing the state to keep the 1,500 acres.

“New York state has stepped forward to help this important Adirondack employer add a decade of longevity to its operations and sustain 100 good-paying manufacturing jobs, without the use of any taxpayer dollars,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council. “This proposal represents an innovative public-private partnership to strengthen the upstate economy, and it deserves the support of New York's voters.”

Ms. Briccetti commended the Cuomo Administration for its willingness to work cooperatively with a longtime New York employer, and commended the state Legislature for approving the proposed amendment twice, as is required in the case of constitutional amendments.

NYCO Minerals was founded in the Adirondacks in 1953 and provides wollastonite, a white non-metallic mineral, for use in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, including auto parts, ceramics, paints and coatings, and construction materials. The company has an annual payroll of $6 million, pays more than $200,000 per year in property taxes and spends more than $2 million per year with local vendors.