JAY-The town of Jay is currently wrapping up the end phase of the $200,000 matching grant awarded by the NYS Office of Community Renewal to improve its Main Street business district and streetscape.
The town's "NY Main Street Application Summary" was finalized and mailed on March 24, 2008 by the Essex County Housing Assistance Program (HAPEC) office and since then the town's target area of the central business district has seen a positive transformation.
Over the last two years, entrepreneurs of storefronts and apartment buildings within the scope of the application were offered an opportunity to secure a portion of the matching grant the town of Jay received, as well as the Apartment Housing Rehabilitation Grants secured through HAPEC for Essex County.
Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said, "In 2005, the Town Board and I appointed a Revitalization Committee to compile the wants and needs of our community. The newly formed committee (which meets on a monthly basis) consisted of business owners, residents, appointed and elected officials from both the town(s) of Black Brook in Clinton County and Jay in Essex County."
The town of Jay, in conjunction with HAPEC, initiated the first phase of the Au Sable Forks Downtown Revitalization Plan and acquired the necessary Technical Assistance Grant of $15,000 from the then Governor's Office of Small Cities. The Town of Jay hired Barton & Loguidice, P.C. (B&L), to develop a conceptual plan for the revitalization of Au Sable Fork Downtown, translating the town's vision into a graphic design and accompanying narrative.
This conceptual plan is now used as an integral part of the revitalization grant applications submitted to state and federal funding agencies by the town of Jay, the Essex County Planning Office and HAPEC. Even former Governor Elliot Spitzer was caught on camera holding the "Town of Jay Au Sable Forks Downtown Revitalization Plan" in his hand after meeting with Supervisor Douglas, which ran in numerous newspapers.
The town of Jay's Main St. business district and streetscape has seen nearly a half a million dollars in improvements over the past two years. The NYS Office of Community Renewal has awarded $200,000 to businesses and landlords to offset the $200,000 invested by owners involved in this project. In addition to these recently received grant monies, the town has secured $800,000 since 2006 in Housing Rehabilitation Grants for low-to-moderate income families, $75,000 in a Home Improvement Grant and over $10,000 in a NYS Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Grant for Gateway Signs to the town and other streetscape improvements.
"These grants are highly competitive and I am very proud of the improvements obviously noticeable to improving the town of Jay," Douglas said.
Supervisor Douglas complimented the Au Sable Forks Revitalization Committee (Co-Chaired by Sue Pulitzer and Amy Shalton), his office staff Susan Richards and Carol Hackel/Greenley, DPW Director Chris Garrow and the entire DPW staff, the Jay Town Board, HAPEC officials Emily Kilbourne, Alan Hipps and Bruce Misarski, Engineers Barton Loguidice, P,C. and Local Waterfront Revitalization Administrator Melissa McMannus and all the town of Jay entrepreneurs who continue to participate in improvement plans.
Sue Pulitzer, Revitalization Co-Chair, said, "The Revitalization Group is encouraged by the positive support of the Towns of Jay and Black Brook and the enthusiastic response from the community. We look forward to continuing to play a role in creating an awareness of the special character of our town that makes it such a wordeful place to live and do business."
Early this spring, residents and visitors of the town of Jay will be greeted with new Gateway Signs in Au Sable Forks, Jay and Upper Jay. The source of funding for these Gateway Signs come from two grants that the town of Jay applied for and received through the NYS Office of Community Renewal (Main Street) grant and the Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization grant, in which the bulk of our funding came from.
Melissa McManus was hired to administer the Local Waterfront Revitalization grant for several Essex County municipalities, including Jay, Keene, North Elba, Lake Placid and Wilmington. This grant helped the High Peaks communities complete projects and initiatives for their community revitalization through economic development, enhancing public access and promotion of the High Peaks waterfronts as an important resource for recreation and tourism.
Douglas said, "We will continue to look for grant funds to improve our appearance. Currently, Jay Officials and the Revitalization Group are working on details to bring the Adirondack Farmers Market to Au Sable Forks for this summer."