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Communities, organizations to meet on needs of Ausable River

A pile of ruined books was created as volunteers helped to clean out the Wells Library in Upper Jay.

A pile of ruined books was created as volunteers helped to clean out the Wells Library in Upper Jay. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— On Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m., the town of Jay, along with the town of Keene and the Essex County Board of Supervisors will host a public forum to discuss the future planning of the Ausable River and its tributaries at the Jay Community Center auditorium, located in the hamlet of Au Sable Forks.

Everyone agrees that there are things that need to be done in order to rebuild and recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, there are differences in how it should be done.

Most notably, there have been discussions both in the media and between local municipalities and environmental agencies and organizations on how cleanup within and along the banks of local rivers and streams should be carried out.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m., the town of Jay, along with the town of Keene and the Essex County Board of Supervisors will host a public forum to discuss the future planning of the Ausable River and its tributaries at the Jay Community Center auditorium, located in the hamlet of Au Sable Forks.

Jay Supervisor and Essex County Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas has repeatedly spoken about his concerns about the coming months if the Ausable is not re-enforced or worked on to prevent future flooding, especially next spring.

“The flows of these rivers and brooks have changed dramatically,” Douglas said at a recent county meeting. “It’s to the point where just a little bit of water will cause flooding. If we wait until the ice jams in the spring to do something, I will lose half of my town.”

Douglas also said that work needs to be done quickly.

“There is definitely some research that needs to be done on the Ausable and the streams that flow into it,” Douglas said. “I understand that environmental groups are concerned about having machinery in the rivers, but I have to do what is best for the public safety of the people in my town and in my county.”

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