AuSABLE FORKS - The town of Jay has completed the installation of a new water transmission line over the east and west branches of the AuSable River.
The project was funded through the state's Hurricane Emergency Loan Program .
The new, stronger water line is now operating, according to Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas. The new line is encased in concrete and buried 6 feet below the riverbed. It replaces water lines that previously crossed both branches of the river and were destroyed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. Town officials responded by installing a fire hose to deliver water to some 650 customers of the AuSable Forks Water District.
"The one million dollars we borrowed was desperately needed to fix a major water line break from the effects of Hurricane Irene in the AuSable River," Douglas said in a press release issued by the state Environmental Facilities Corporation. "This line provides water to 650 users in the hamlet of AuSable Forks for the town of Jay in Essex County and the town of Black Brook in Clinton County. The EFC staff has been most supportive throughout this whole process."
Jay was the first municipality in New York to receive a $1 million HELP loan, a program created by EFC to provide immediate assistance to communities flooded by tropical storms Irene and Lee. Twenty-two cities, towns and villages applied before the Dec. 31 deadline for a total of more than $19 million in interest-free HELP loans, including $1 million to repair stormwater infrastructure in the Clinton County town of Peru.
"The HELP program was the result of Governor Cuomo's call for everyone in state government to immediately pull together all available funds, along with manpower, technical assistance and other resources, to help the communities hit by these record-breaking floods," said EFC President and CEO Matthew Driscoll.
The new water line for Jay and Black Brook was engineered by Plattsburgh-based firm AES Northeast and the Army Corps of Engineers. The lead contractor for the emergency repairs was Steven E. Fuller Excavating, with assistance from the town of Jay's Department of Public Works.
Douglas thanked town staff, attorney Douglas Goodfriend of the law firm Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, Essex County Attorney Dan Manning and the Essex County Community Resources Department for their efforts to successfully complete the HELP loan process.
In 2011, EFC refinanced more than $300 million in previous bonds issued by EFC for local water and wastewater projects. Those actions saved 167 local governments and public authorities more than $28 million.