The Keene Volunteer Fire Department received one of the ACT grants for those in need from damages suffered in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.
The Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) has made grants from its Special and Urgent Needs Fund to aid each of the nonprofits that applied for support.
“It is unusual for us to be able to draw upon the Special and Urgent Needs Fund in this particular way, but, because Irene changed a lot of things for a lot of people and organizations, our Board wanted to extend ACT’s outreach,” ACT executive director Cali Brooks said.
One grant will help buy an emergency generator for the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, which served as a staging facility for the fire department, Red Cross and FEMA and as an emergency center for residents immediately following Irene. A generator will allow the hamlet to continue to use the Grange to provide hot meals, water and as a gathering place for the community in emergencies. The Whallonsburg Civic Association, which manages the Grange, will also install a handicapped-accessible bathroom in the Grange.
Project HOPE will use its ACT grant to help pay the administrative costs of a crisis counseling program that sends care providers directly to heavily-hit neighborhoods. They also offer HOPE LINE, a 24/7 phone connection to responsive peers who can help people deal with the disaster-related problems Irene visited upon Essex and Clinton counties. Project HOPE is a service of the Mental Health Association and funded primarily through FEMA.
The Upper Jay Art Center facility, also known as the Recovery Lounge, is located on the water at the Route 9N bridge. Irene’s flood rushed through the building, sweeping away a collection of property and theatrical supplies it had taken years to build. Having already received a grant through the Jay Irene Flood Relief Fund at ACT to help repair damages to the performance space, UJAC will use the new grant to replace the lost properties.
One of the dramatic images published immediately after the storm was that of the Keene Volunteer Fire Department being ripped apart and swept downstream by raging Gulf Brook. The building was erected in 1960 on property that was larger before the Aug. 28 storm widened the river bed. A new location must be purchased and a new building erected to provide fire and ambulance services to Keene and surrounding communities, a huge expense, much of which will be borne by residents. ACT’s grant responds to this need.
ACT has recently made other Irene relief grants through the Special and Urgent Needs Fund. Two Essex County farmers whose farms were damaged by the floods received ACT grants through the Essex County Office of Community Resources. The Tahawus Lodge Center, a cultural organization located at the Route 9N bridge in Ausable Forks, received a grant to help repair their building. The Wadhams Free Library also received a grant to repair a retaining wall damaged by the storm.