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Businessman, former Lewis legislator seeking second stint on board

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LYONS FALLS — A business owner and former Lewis County legislator from Lyons Falls plans to seek a second stint on the Board of Legislators this fall.

“I’m hoping I can bring some harmony back to the board,” said Lawrence L. Dolhof, owner of Dolhof True Value Hardware on Center Street.

Mr. Dolhof, a Republican who previously served in the county legislature from 2000 to 2003, plans to seek the seat for District 8, which encompasses the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg, Montague, Osceola and West Turin.

Legislator Richard C. Lucas, R-Barnes Corners, who is in his eighth year representing the so-called Tug Hill district, has yet to announce whether he plans to run for a fifth term.

Mr. Dolhof, also president of the Lewis County Development Corp., said he has discussed running with his fellow Republican and LCDC board member and intends to move forward regardless of Mr. Lucas’s decision.

“We were able to accomplish a lot for the county when I was on before,” he said. “Hopefully, I can get back on, and we can move some more projects forward.”

Mr. Dolhof mentioned the expansion of the FiberMark plant in Lowville and Otis Technology plant in Lyons Falls, development of the Edge Hotel in Lyons Falls and the Maple Ridge Wind Farm and establishment of the Lyons Falls Health Center as economic highlights of his prior tenure.

“I’m obviously a proponent of economic development,” he said.

The development corporation, which Mr. Dolhof has headed for the past several years, is working to redevelop the former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill into a business park and a dam in Croghan as a small hydroelectric facility.

Engineering for the initial phase of the Lyons Falls project has been essentially completed, and plans are to, within the next week, seek bids from firms to demolish a collapsed portion of the old mill, he said.

It is hoped that phase of the project will provide extra space and access for Kruger Energy to upgrade its hydroelectric facility adjacent to the former plant, Mr. Dolhof said.

The former legislator said that while he remains supportive of recreation, he feels that residents who aren’t in favor of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles also should be heard.

“There needs to be a balance,” he said.

Then a Lyons Falls village trustee, Mr. Dolhof in 1999 beat Bruce D. Schmitt of Turin in a Republican primary, then easily won a three-way race in the general election over Mr. Schmitt, running on an independent line, and Democrat Catherine L. Kraeger.

He then outpolled Lyons Falls Democrat Nicholas E. Byrne in the 2001 election but was narrowly defeated by Mr. Byrne two years later.

A redistricting plan that took effect in the 2005 legislative elections created the new, expansive District 8 with no sitting legislator, and Mr. Lucas — after defeating Democrat Gerald A. Smith — has represented the district ever since.

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