Press-Republican

Local News

June 18, 2012

Upper Jay Fire District looks to next steps

Insurance won't cover half of cost to rebuild

JAY — The $900,000 insurance settlement for the Upper Jay fire station is a start, but the Fire Commission still needs more funding.

Commission Chairman Bryan Walton said they voted Wednesday to accept the figure and were waiting for final paperwork.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo mediated the insurance settlement with help from state insurance officials earlier this week.

HIGH AND DRY

The fire station sits along the Ausable River, a site that has been inundated repeatedly in the past 60 years.

“We are going to try to move (forward on replacement),” Walton said. “But that depends entirely on financing. We have a location site selected at 99 Valley Road, directly across from the Town of Jay highway garage, way up high and dry in the fields.”

The 3.2-acre property is privately owned and located about 1.5 miles from Ward Lumber Company.

“The fire station is in a 100-year flood plain. There is a mark on the front of the firehouse showing the base flood-elevation,” Walton said of their assessment review.

Base flood-elevation is a high-water mark indicating a 1 percent chance per year in 100 years of floodwater depth.

The mark on the Upper Jay fire station is nearly 2 1/2 feet above the floor.

“The flood that came through in Tropical Storm Irene was approximately 3 feet over that,” Walton said.

“Approximately 5 1/2 feet of water came through the fire station.”

AMBULANCE ELSEWHERE

High water from Irene’s deluge on Aug. 28, 2011, swept firefighters’ bunker gear and other contents of the fire station into the river.

“The only gear that wasn’t lost was the gear being worn at the time,” Walton said.

“As it was, firefighters had very short time to pack up and leave. We left half of our equipment — fire trucks and vehicles — on one side of the river and half on the other, so we could help our district on either side of the flooded area.”

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