Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Bill Owens announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded to the Town of Jay a rural development grant in the amount of $150,000. Rural development funds will be used to repair the Au Sable Forks Water System, which incurred damages due to flooding from Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
"I will never forget the destruction I saw first-hand after Hurricane Irene and grants like this help hard-hit communities like the Town of Jay rebuild from the flooding," said Schumer. "Funding clean water projects like those in Jay is pivotal for the health and safety of the community. This grant will also bring infrastructure jobs to the region, spurring local economic development as Essex County continues to rebuild in the wake of last year's floods."
"These massive storms may be almost a year behind us, but much of the damage is still here," Senator Gillibrand said. "The North Country took some of the worst of Hurricane Irene -- washing out roads and bridges, destroying sewer systems and other extreme damage. We need to continue to bring all necessary federal resources to bear. This funding will help our effort to clean up and rebuild water systems so families and businesses in Essex County can continue to recover."
"This funding is critical as we work to recover from severe weather damage in the North Country," said Owens. "Helping our friends and neighbors is always foremost on our minds, and repairing the water system and improving the way residents receive basic services is an important first step toward getting businesses and homeowners back on their feet."
"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," said Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas. These distinguished representatives toured our area in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and witnessed firsthand the devastation. We will continue to lobby for other state and federal funding opportunities to alleviate the overall financial condition Irene left us in."
The Town of Jay is contributing $218,594 to the project and will apply funding from a New York State Revolving Fund Loan in the amount of $1,000,000. The USDA Rural Development funding for the Town of Jay, is part of the USDA Rural Development annual budget. USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and to improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of necessary community and technology infrastructure.