By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — UPPER JAY — Voters will decide whether a new firehouse for the Upper Jay Fire Department will be built soon to replace one hammered by a severe flood.
The Upper Jay Fire Commission is holding a public referendum on the project from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay.
Only residents of the Upper Jay Fire District in the Town of Jay are eligible to vote.
Most of the $2.5 million funding would come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, private flood insurance, the state, the Adirondack Community Trust and other donations, with a local share of about $100,000 from a municipal bond.
The commission got $900,000 from its flood insurance, and the other amounts would be finalized when or if voters approve the local share of $100,000.
Upper Jay Fire Commission Chairman Wayne Roberts said the plan is to relocate the firehouse to a safer site.
“This will have a tax implication of about $12 (a year) on a $100,000 (assessed) home. The rest of the funding is from insurance, FEMA, donations and New York state.”
The Upper Jay Fire Station, located on Route 9N, had heavy damage from the flooding of the East Branch of the Ausable River during Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, 2011. The water tore holes in the building’s walls and foundation, and the structure is no longer used to house fire equipment.
Hueber-Breuer Construction of Syracuse is handling the project. That company is also building a new fire station for the Keene Volunteer Fire Department to replace one destroyed by 2011 storms.
The new home for the Upper Jay station will be 161 Valley Road in the hamlet, across from the Jay Town Garage, in a non-flood-prone location.
Construction is expected to start later this year if the referendum passes.
“We’re looking to break ground in May,” Roberts said. “The state has told us it will cover whatever FEMA does not (not including the local share).”
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