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January 24, 2013

Debris removal begins in Town of Jay

JAY — Town of Jay and Essex County officials are using a grant from the State Department of Environmental Conservation to start the debris-removal process at the former Land of Make Believe.

The remaining debris from the original cleanup was not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but that is under appeal by the Town of Jay, officials said.

The debris was left after tropical storms Irene and Lee battered the area last year.

Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said several county officials, especially U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil and Water Manager David Reckahn, devoted a lot of time and effort to getting the cleanup underway.

“Their diligence made that happen. It is a public safety issue. They put a lot of work into it. My people will be very happy when those piles start being removed.”

After completion of the permit application with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, DEC and the Adirondack Park Agency, the work of removing the debris piles in the hamlet of Upper Jay is finally under way.

Officials from the Town of Jay and Essex County felt the removal of this debris was crucial in assuring public safety in the event of possible future flooding of the Ausable River, Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said.

“We wish to extend our most sincere gratitude to Governor Andrew Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and DEC Region 5 Regional Director Bob Stegemann, who, since the onset of the Irene Recovery and Relief Operation, have worked tirelessly alongside of our town and county officials in efforts to restore our area from the devastation of Irene,” he said in a news release.

The Land of Make Believe is a former theme park in Jay’s Upper Jay hamlet, which was created by the late Arto Monaco. The park closed decades ago, but volunteers had been trying to restore it before the floods struck.

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