In the middle of the last century, the Lyons Falls paper mill was one of the area’s biggest employers—the paper industry was booming, and the community was thriving. The Lyons Falls paper corporation even pioneered a new process for making paper that companies around the country replicated.
But the mill shut down in 2001.
“And that is when our spirits really hit rock bottom as you can imagine.”
Katie Liendecker is Mayor of Lyons Falls. She says the mill’s been sitting abandoned right in the center of town. Some buildings have collapsed. And the village of Lyons Falls has never been able to replace the employment base it had in the mill.
“So having this finally happen that they are cleaning up the mill and demolishing a lot of the buildings that have deteriorated, it just gives us some hope that finally our village will eventually become beautiful again because right now it doesn’t look all that good on Center Street.”
Demolition on the site is set to take around 3 months. And that’s just the first phase of demolition.
“But in the long run when it finally is cleaned up and there can be some redevelopment there, then definitely there will be some jobs for the area.”
The Lewis County Development Corporation is still working on their vision for what exactly that redevelopment will look like. With 1.3 million dollars from the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, the plan is to develop the site into a green energy hub, and bring in new businesses that can benefit from the hydroelectric power being generated at the dam next door.