NYCO Minerals spent more money than previously reported to win support for a controversial land swap with the state that voters approved last month in a statewide referendum.
In a post-election financial disclosure statement filed with the state Board of Elections last week, the Willsboro-based company reported spending $237,754.98 on the "Yes for the Adirondacks" campaign. The money was used to pay Behan Communications for lawn signs, banners, T-shirts, mailings, advertising, social media and website work, and teleconferencing with the news media.
NYCO, according to its pre-election filings, had paid the communications firm $424,595.61. Adding that to the amount from the post-election statement shows NYCO spent a total of $662,350.59 on its pro-Proposition 5 campaign. That's about $124,000 more than the Enterprise initially reported in a story that ran several days after the election.
The proposition was approved by a margin of roughly 138,000 votes. A total of 1,204,996 people, or 53 percent of those who cast ballots on the proposition, were in favor of it, with 1,066,742, or 47 percent, opposed.
The approval allows NYCO to mine 200 acres of state land next to its existing wollastonite mine in the Essex County town of Lewis. In exchange, NYCO will provide the state with at least $1 million worth of other land to add to the Forest Preserve. Working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the company has identified 1,500 acres it would give to the state. It would also restore the 200 acres and return it to the state.
The land swap still requires approval of the state comptroller's office. NYCO will also need to get mining permits from DEC and the state Adirondack Park Agency.