The town of Jay has received some much-needed financial support as it continues to rebuild infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Irene last year.
On June 26, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand teamed up with Rep. Bill Owens to announce that the federal Department of Agriculture has awarded the town of Jay $150,000 in rural development funds. The money will be used to repair the AuSable Forks Water System, according to the three lawmakers.
"Senator Schumer, Congressman Owens and Senator Gillibrand should be applauded for their accomplishment in securing funds to lessen the burden on the Au Sable Forks Water District taxpayers," Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas said in a prepared statement.
"We will continue to lobby for other state and federal funding opportunities to alleviate the overall financial condition Irene left us in," he added.
The town will contribute about $218,000 toward the project and could get some additional financial help from the Clinton County town of Black Brook, which has users who rely on the water system. Douglas said his town will apply for a $1 million loan through the state's Revolving Fund as well.
Chris Garrow, superintendent of the town of Jay's Department of Public Works, said the grant money will be used to rebuild the Coronation Building, which treats water for users in AuSable Forks and Black Brook. The town of Black Brook has also received $150,000, and Douglas said he hopes they'll use that money for the water project.
"Irene flooded some of the controls out, and we need to replace them," Garrow said. "We've been under a consent order from (the state Department of Environmental Conservation) to upgrade the building, and since Irene, they've made funds available to do this."
Douglas said the plan is to move the building out of harm's way.
Meanwhile, Garrow said there's still a lot of work to do.
"We've got a lot of sewer infrastructure that has to be fixed, (including) two sewer mains attached to two bridges that need to be insulated," he said. "We have seven sewer pump stations that have to be rebuilt, and the lagoons where the raw water goes to be treated before it goes to the river, they need to be drained and cleaned out."
Garrow added that highway crews continue to repair roads damaged by flood waters.