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North Country Regional Economic Development Council Announces Priority Project to Redevelop Vacant Paper Mill Site Moving Forward

(May 21, 2012)

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Announces Priority Project to Redevelop Vacant Paper Mill Site Moving Forward

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today announced that Lewis County Development Corporation (LCDC) has signed its contract to officially move forward with the first stages of the Lyons Falls Mill Site Redevelopment project as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. The Lyons Falls Mill Site redevelopment project is a priority project for the NCREDC that is aimed at transforming the long-time vacant, former paper mill site into a mixed use, shovel ready business park. LCDC was awarded $330,000 to begin the initial phase of redevelopment, which includes conducting the environmental survey, engineering, permitting and redevelopment planning.

"This is an excellent project which can begin to transform the Lyons Falls Mill Site back into a place of investment and jobs," said Garry Douglas, Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "We were pleased to identify it as a priority project last year and we are even more pleased to see it moving forward."

Tony Collins, Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and President of Clarkson University said, "Based on broad public participation in the development of the regional plan, the Lyons Falls Mill Site redevelopment project represents the vision established to energize our manufacturing industries and small business communities, mobilize opportunities for entrepreneurs and opens a new gateway for green energy."

"The Lewis County Development Corporation has been working for four to five years to begin a project at the Lyons Falls Mill site," said Lewis County Development Corporation President Larry Dolhof. "We have good private and public partners working on this effort and with the Empire State Development funding assistance we hope to really begin making progress. Our organization is committed to making a difference in Lewis County and this project has great long term potential."

The LCDC is actively engaged in the transformative redevelopment of this site so that it will once again be a productive facility that will create employment and generate economic growth in southern Lewis and northern Oneida counties. The LCDC took ownership of the Lyons Mills site in 2011 with a purchase investment of $150,000. With state resources dedicated to support the project, the Corporation will now begin the process to redevelop the 9.4 acre brownfield site in Lyons Falls. It is estimated that LCDC will invest $495,000 in this initial phase of the project. As additional resources are secured, the LCDC will look to demolish existing buildings and ultimately create a mixed-use site with a focus on the green energy industries. The short term economic benefits involve engineering and demolition job creation, while long-term benefits include the creation of up to 100 new jobs on the site in the biofuels operation, warehouse operations, a forest products educational facility, and other possibilities.

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans. The North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state support through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for some 70 projects across the region. As part of that process, $330,000 in funding was awarded to Lewis County Development Corporation from Empire State Development for this project.

"ESD is pleased to play a role in jump starting this critical redevelopment project," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "The Lyons Falls paper mill site has been vacant for far too long. However, through the Regional Council initiative, the LCDC will have the support it needs to take the first steps toward a redeveloped, productive site that will mean the attraction of new investment and job growth in the North Country."

"This Mill site has been a project that's been lingering for several years now, and it's a credit to the LCDC that they remained committed to making sure the cleanup went forward," said Senator Joseph A. Griffo. "Once upon a time, the Mill site was a major employer in the region, and we're convinced that one day the site will again employ Lewis and Oneida county residents. I commend Ken Adams and the Governor's North Country Economic Regional Council for acknowledging this vision."

"Today marks a new chapter for Lyons Falls and its surrounding communities, creating a clean slate for future development, building off the local resources of the community and giving hope to our next generation," said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov.

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