First of all I offer my sincere sympathy for your losses. It breaks my heart to see the constituents I represent in such emotional distress.
Please feel free to contact my office at 647-2204 or 647-2201 if you have any questions or need assistance. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.
Today the town of Jay is sending code enforcement officers from numerous surrounding towns and counties to your homes to assess your damages. We are so gracious to these municipalities, elected officials and employees for assisting us in our time of need.
Although we know you have filled out numerous forms at this point, we are sincerely asking you to cooperate in providing this information as we move forward. The code enforcement officer is there to assess your damages and to make a determination if your house is indeed repairable and habitable.
Many of you have requested information regarding a federal buyout of your home. Please contact us for FEMA information. I also encourage you to visit the FEMA website at www.fema.gov.
I know many of you have been flooded two to three times since March and have had enough, and I will support you in your efforts if you would like to be considered for a buyout. Please be advised, however, that this is a lengthy process and there are no guarantees.
I ask you to contact us, indicating whether you would like your home to be included in a Federal Buyout Application. I also want you to know I will support this process wholeheartedly, but I do worry about the town of Jay losing our identity and many of the citizens and families that have been here for generations. If we are successful in our application on your behalf, I would ask that you look at the possibility of relocating in a safer area within the town of Jay.
We as a town board have been very successful at stabilizing our town budget for over the last seven years, having less than a 2 percent average increase during this timeframe. We have done so by eliminating unneeded expenses from our annual budget and by being fiscally responsible.
However, if we lose our residents to neighboring towns or counties, our budget will not be able to sustain this financial hit and the residents left behind will incur the cost of running the town.
I know this may not be the proper time to be talking budgets, as I know your family budgets have all taken a dramatic hit. I know this may be premature, but if the town of Jay is successful in our buyout application, again any consideration of relocating within the town of Jay would be greatly appreciated.
I also want to remind everyone that we are continuing to raise funds for town of Jay residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene. To date, we have raised over $30,000 and many organizations are planning fundraisers on our behalf. In the near future I will be naming a selection committee to oversee how best these funds will be distributed. The committee will be chaired by Deputy Supervisor Archie Depo and will have community members from all hamlets affected. If you know of anyone who would like to donate to this fund, they can send a donation to: Town of Jay Irene Relief Fun, P.O. Box 730, Au Sable Forks, NY 12912.
Another reminder, to be eligible for a portion of these funds, you must be in the town of Jay’s system. Therefore, if you registered directly with FEMA, we highly encourage you to call town of Jay at 647-2204, so we have the information the selection committee will need to consider you for funding.
Lastly, we still have many cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products that were purchased and donated if you need some. Please stop by the Supervisor’s Office at 11 School Lane in Au Sable Forks, or call and we will deliver to you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In the immediate future, I, my staff, elected officials and all town of Jay officials will keep you in our thoughts and prayers that your lives will return to some normalcy in the very near future!
My best to you all!
Randall T. Douglas and town of Jay Board