On-going Recovery: The Jay Balliett Story

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On-going Recovery: The Jay Balliett Story

On February 18, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, With 2 Comments

IMG_6049 for websiteLong-time Schoharie resident and Village Trustee, Jay Balliett’s house is undergoing a major renovation. The home is being raised approximately two feet to protect it against future weather events.

Like many other homes in our communities, the house has a storied history. It was constructed by a Civil War veteran, General Cobb, with money received after mustering out of the army. As Jay remarked, “This house was the first Cobb-job!”

Jay has lived there for almost a quarter-century and is not going to let the flood or any other event force him to move. Jay remains committed to the on-going recovery process.

Shortly after the flood, SALT helped Jay begin repairs on his home. We were able to quickly provide funding in the early days of recovery allowing him to jump start the rebuilding process. Volunteer groups, coordinated by SALT, completed a great deal of work which helped him to reduce the overall cost of the project. Jay’s New York State Rising funds have allowed him to continue the project. To further protect his home Jay is raising it out of the floodplain and has purchased flood insurance. This ensures that the house remains a fixture in the village for years to come. Fitting with the home’s history, Jay hopes to complete the work by Fourth of July.

SALT often fields the question “why are you working on community development when there are homes that still need assistance?” The answer to that isn’t a simple one. One reason is that SALT recognizes the need to focus our unmet needs efforts on helping people with the state’s NY Rising application process because the economic opportunities provided by these government grants are worth the wait in order to preserve the history of our local homes.

Although it has been almost five years since the start of the recovery effort a large amount of work remains to be done. Stories like Jay’s remind us of the ties that bind us to our homes here in the Schoharie Valley. SALT remains committed to the recovery and renewal of the Schoharie Valley area.

2 Comments so far:

  1. Carl Shepard says:

    SALT often fields the question “why are you working on community development when there are homes that still need assistance?”
    Money and manpower! There is much more money available to owners through the NY Rising program than SALT has had available, even though we (together with Schoharie Recovery) spent on the order of $1,360,000 on assistance to 400 home and business owners. And donations had dried up such that we were down to our last $30,000 or so in our Unmet Needs fund. Couple that with being down to our last one or two consistent volunteers to do the rebuilding work. Does that answer the question?
    We know that there are still unmet needs out there and will be conducting a new survey to update our data. When we are able to help again, we will. WHETHER we can depends on you.

  2. John McGowan says:

    It is wonderful to see Jay’s community spirit! The house looks beautiful and adds to the historic beauty of the community. congratulations for a job well done. Dude

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