Press-Republican

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September 5, 2013

Upper Jay Fire District gets $1.5 million from state

AUSABLE FORKS — After years of disastrous flooding, the Upper Jay Fire Station will be moved away from the Ausable River.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered $1.5 million to the Upper Jay Fire District, closing the gap on the $2.5 million project.

The state funding comes from the Office of Community Renewal, according to Essex County Community Resources Director Mike Mascarenas.

“There is a two-week grace period before the funding is released,” he said of the construction timeline.

But they are ready to dig. 

The existing fire station on Route 9N in Upper Jay was wracked by floodwaters during Tropical Storm Irene two years ago and severely damaged by the onslaught.

In the time since, the Upper Jay Fire District recouped $900,000 from flood insurance and gained taxpayer approval to bond another $100,000.

Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery funds did not allow moving to a new location for the firehouse, leaving the project $1.5 million short. Until the state came through on Wednesday.

Designed by engineers at Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., the new station will be built on higher ground at 161 Valley Road, across from Jay’s Highway Garage.

Chris Garrow, Highway Department superintendent, is a fire commissioner in Upper Jay.

“We were very surprised. We’re very excited,” he said.

Fire commissioners will hold a pre-construction meeting in mid September, looking to break ground at the new site as early as Sept. 16, Garrow said.

Mascarenas said they hope to have the building framed before winter.

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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