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Gov. settles dispute between Upper Jay FC, insurance company

Part of the interior of the Upper Jay Firehouse was destroyed by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene last year.

Part of the interior of the Upper Jay Firehouse was destroyed by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene last year. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— A dispute over the damage done to the Upper Jay firehouse that appeared to be headed to court has been settled through the help of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor’s office announced June 13 that a deal had been reached through the State Insurance Fund between the Town of Jay, the Upper Jay Volunteer Fire Company and the insurance company VFIS that will allow the company to rebuild and relocate their facilities.

“This takes the roadblocks out of the way,” Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said. “Now, the Upper Jay Fire Company will be able to start the process of applying for FEMA funding and relocating.”

The firehouse, located along Route 9N along the East Branch of the Ausable River, was destroyed by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene Aug. 28 of last year.

Following the devastation, the Jay code enforcement officer concluded that the damage to the building was greater than 50-percent of the appraised value of the site, which was disputed by the insurance company, which had started to file for legal action before the settlement was reached.

Because of the lawsuit, the insurance claim was held up, which was needed by the fire company to pursue FEMA funding to replace their facility.

“They have to have the insurance settlement claim to submit to FEMA before that can take that next step,” Douglas said. “This result that the governor was key to boths settles the potential lawsuit and allows the fire company to move forward with the claim.”

Along with the claim, the fire company will also be able to move the firehouse from its current location to Valley Road.

“The current building is on the 100-year flood plane and has been flooded numerous times, but never anything like this,” Douglas said. “The fire company has been looking at a piece of land on Valley Road and can now start the process to get there.”

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