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Ausable River meeting held

Plattsburgh State Professor Timothy Mihuc speaks to those assembled at the Jay Communtiy Center to talk about the Ausable River and its needs in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene damage.

Plattsburgh State Professor Timothy Mihuc speaks to those assembled at the Jay Communtiy Center to talk about the Ausable River and its needs in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene damage. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Officials from town, state and federal agencies along with environmental groups were on hand at the Jay Community Center on the first day of November to talk about what needs to be done to solve the problems associated with the 28th day of August — the day tropical storm Irene ravaged the region.

Jay Supervisor Randall “Randy” Douglas and Keene counterpart William “Bill” Ferebee hosted a meeting between members of the two towns, FEMA, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Army Corps of Engineers, Ausable River Association, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Wild and the Adirondack Council, among others, for a chance for all sides to talk and respond to questions from those who attended.

FEMA representative John Patterson said there have been 526 registrations in Essex County for services and $2 million had been distributed in Essex County. Patterson also said that the deadline for filing for relief had been extended until Dec. 15.

“If you haven’t registered, you really need to do that now and get into the system,” Patterson said.

“This district probably got hit harder than any other district in New York,“ Mark Westcott, representing Congressman Chris Gibson, said. “We have been working with everyone, and we want people to tell us what they need and we will try to advocate for them.”

“Your supervisors have done a tremendous job and they are all working hard, and my role here is to help wherever I can,” state Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said.

“This is an important discussion,” Rick Weber of the APA said. “This has been a very incredible year, not just with Irene but with the spring flooding. It has been incredible work by the highway departments and everyone to put things back together as quickly as they have. Our role is to review and quickly provide our advice on matters pertaining mostly to issues that involve the river banks.”

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