By KIM SMITH DEDAM
---- — AUSABLE FORKS — An award of $1.5 million was the big push Upper Jay Volunteer Fire Department needed to break ground on its new firehouse.
Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought the news in person, along with big bucks for Jay and Keene, as well.
Each town will get $3 million through the Rising Community Reconstruction Program and will use the funds to develop resiliency plans in the event of catastrophic weather events such as Tropical Storm Irene.
That storm wrecked the present firehouse in Upper Jay when it tore through in August 2011.
Situated on the Ausable River, that structure took on as much as 3 feet of water during the storm and was severely damaged. In February, voters OK'd the plan to build a new facility at 161 Valley Road. Total cost is $2.5 million, including purchase of the land and construction. That vote gave approval for taxpayers to pay for a $100,000 loan as part of the project.
Shovels are expected to start digging in on Sept. 16, with hopes the structure can be framed up by winter, according to Chris Garrow, who serves on the Upper Jay Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners.
More information will be added to this story later today.
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