Governor visits Wilmington, Upper Jay today

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has scheduled appearances in Upper Jay and Wilmington for midday today.

Cuomo is set to make an announcement at the new Upper Jay firehouse at 161 Valley Road at 11 a.m., the governor’s office said in a press release Monday night. Then at 12:15 p.m. he’s to visit the Whiteface Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway in Wilmington to receive a progress briefing on the road’s reconstruction.

The state is paying $11.2 million to rebuild the toll road that winds 8 miles up the 4,867-foot-high Whiteface Mountain. Cuomo announced the project last year, and it is expected to be finished next June. Franklin D. Roosevelt was governor when he dedicated the highway’s groundbreaking in 1929, and he was president of the United States when he returned for its opening in 1935.

The former Upper Jay firehouse on state Route 9N flooded multiple times, most notably taking in about 2 feet of water during Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, 2011. Work on the new firehouse began in October 2013 and wrapped up earlier this summer. It cost $2.7 million, split between insurance, fundraising and a $1.5 million state grant. Cuomo personally delivered the jumbo-sized check to town of Jay officials on Sept. 4, 2013.

Cuomo, who is up for re-election in November, has made disaster recovery funding a priority, after hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy damaged the state during his time as governor. The state already helped fund a new firehouse in Keene after an Irene-related flood broke that one in half. Now the North Country Regional Economic Development Council has named a new firehouse for AuSable Forks as one of its priority projects for this year.