UPPER JAY — Despite the winter’s cold and blowing snow, builders have made progress on the new fire station here.
The total $2.78 million project moves quarters for the Upper Jay Volunteer Fire Department from the banks of the east branch of the Ausable River to a brand new facility at 161 Valley Road.
The old firehouse on Route 9 was heavily damaged during flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.
Upper Jay has had to store its ambulance and one of its fire trucks at different locations since that flood.
STARTED IN FALL
Construction of the new station began shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo allocated $1.5 million in state assistance last September.
The town and Upper Jay’s Fire District raised $1,286,765 from flood-insurance reimbursements, Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery funds, municipal bonds and community resources.
About this time last year, district taxpayers approved bonding not to exceed $100,000 for the project with a 58-10 vote.
Initial uncertainty about FEMA funding left the plan for a new firehouse in the lurch, until Cuomo stepped in.
CHALLENGED BY WEATHER
Annette Schilling is project coordinator at the Valley Road construction site, managed by Hueber-Breuer Construction Co.
Builders were putting the decking on the roof last week, despite the snow and chilly air, she said.
“They are enclosing the roof portion. Winter conditions have pushed us back a bit, but hopefully we will be fully enclosed by the end of the month.”
The new fire station is designed to Essential Facility Codes to endure any type of manmade or natural disaster, according to state building specs for emergency services facilities.
Its floor plan is similar to the fire station Hueber-Breuer built for the Keene Volunteer Fire Department last year.
“It’s somewhat smaller than Keene,” Schilling said, “with a total 8,000 square feet of space.”
The new Upper Jay Fire Station has three bay-door entrances for equipment and a meeting room with space for firefighter classes.
“There will be a mezzanine training area here, as well,” Schilling said of the layout, which, like Keene’s firehouse, incorporates a balcony-level loft for practice with repelling from second-floor windows.
The Upper Jay Fire Commission recently put the subcontract for the 100-kilowatt generator out to bid.
“We hope to have the fire station completed in May,” Schilling said.
The hamlet of Upper Jay is in the Town of Jay, and Town Supervisor Randy Douglas is thrilled with the progress, even if winter construction proves a challenge.
“Currently the project is moving along according to the pre-planned time frame and budget,” he said via email.
“We are so very thankful for Governor Cuomo’s assistance in numerous ways to make this project a reality and to ensure the good people of Upper Jay have the adequate emergency services they deserve.”
Email Kim Smith Dedam: email@example.com