St. Lawrence County legislators support IDA’s effort to rehabilitate former J&L site in Clifton
CANTON – St. Lawrence County legislators are supporting an Industrial Development Agency grant application that could help bring in money for the former J&L Steel site.
On Monday legislators passed a resolution of support during a finance committee meeting.The county began tearing down buildings there last fall with an eye towards redevelopment.
At its height, the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation fed steel plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio an average of 1 million tons of iron ore sinter from the mine, known as Benson Mines before being purchased by the corporation.
The ore was shipped down the Adirondack rail line of the New York Central from Clifton, through Harrisville, to Carthage and down to Watertown.
The mine supported nearly 2,000 people in the region, and when it finally closed in the summer of 1978, 365 people lost their jobs. An auction in 1980 saw all of the equipment and materials at the site sold off, leaving empty vacant buildings which fell into a state of serious disrepair.
The county has been working to remediate the site in Clifton for the past few years. The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency has been a key partner in the effort to abate, demolish and remove dilapidated structures to position the site for redevelopment, according to the resolution,
The IDA is currently seeking $200,000 to $345,000 through Empire State Development. Legislators passed the resolution to help secure the funding.