Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on New Fire Station Coincides with Three Year Anniversary of Hurricane Irene
Albany, NY (August 26, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the new fire station in the Town of Jay, which was rebuilt after the original station was destroyed as a result of Hurricane Irene. The Governor attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at the fire station today, nearly three years to the day when Hurricane Irene brought serious destruction to communities in the North Country and other regions of New York. The new Upper Jay Fire Station’s construction was supported by $1.5 million in funding announced by Governor Cuomo last September, as well as an agreement the State helped reach in June 2012 between the Town of Jay and its insurance company.
“When Hurricane Irene devastated the North Country three years ago, we promised that the state would help local communities recover, and the Upper Jay Fire Station is the perfect example of how we’ve delivered on that promise,” Governor Cuomo said. “The building was severely damaged during Irene, but our administration stepped up with the local community to build a new firehouse that is bigger and better than the old one. I am very pleased to open this new facility, because it represents the resilient spirit that defines us as New Yorkers. It’s the story of Jay, it’s the story of the North Country, and it’s the story of this state – we come together when things get rough, and we come out stronger than ever before.”
Suffering extreme damage during Hurricane Irene, the old fire station was condemned by the Town Code Enforcement Officer. An agreement was reached in June 2012 between the Town of Jay and insurance company to build a new firehouse at a new location with less flood risk. With a new fire station, the Upper Jay Fire District will be better equipped to provide essential services to the residents of the district.
The total cost of the new fire station project was $2,783,441, which included purchasing new land, demolishing the old facility and constructing the new building. The Town was able to secure $1,286,765 to pay for the project with funding from insurance, municipal bonding, funds raised in the community and FEMA. To fill the remaining gap of $1,496,676, Essex County applied to the State for NYS Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which was made available by Governor Cuomo in September of 2013.
This is the second fire station in the North Country in which Governor Cuomo designated funds to build back after Hurricane Irene. The Town of Keene, whose station was also destroyed by flooding, has a new, state-of-the-art firehouse, opened in June of 2013, made possible by $825,000 in funding from New York State.
Senator Betty Little said, “Our emergency responders are special people who miss homeruns at Little League games, hot suppers around the dinner table and hours of sleep at night to aid others when the call for help comes in. They comprise a protective thread in the fabric of our communities and, when Irene struck, their dedication and heroism was put to the test. Their firehouse – a second home – was ruined, but not the resolve of these men and women. Working together, with Governor Cuomo and his administration, local elected officials and dedicated volunteers, a new firehouse has been built and today stands as a testament to the great strength of this community I’m very proud to represent.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "Irene dealt a serious blow to the North Country - including the tremendous damage to Upper Jay's fire station. These emergency responders have done so much for the community and I'm pleased that the State of New York was there to help them rebuild so they can continue to serve the community so well."
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said, "Essex County saw a startling amount of damage from Hurricane Irene, which deeply affected families, businesses, and almost every member of our community. We are thankful to have a friend in Governor Cuomo as we, three years after the storm, continue to rebuild our lives to be better than ever before. With this new firehouse, the Town of Jay will be more adequately prepared to serve the people of this town should another instance of extreme weather head our way. I thank the Governor, our first responders, and every other partner who has helped us to rebuild both this fire station and our community."