Glen Cove, Wyandanch projects backed for state aid contest

This is a rendering of new apartment building

This is a rendering of new apartment building proposed for Wyandanch, part of what Long Island officials across all government levels are calling a crucial revitalization project for the Island. (Credit: Handout)

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A group of local business and education leaders Tuesday requested $44.3 million in state aid for 47 building projects and company expansions on Long Island, including downtown redevelopment in Glen Cove, an ice rink in Wyandanch and help for defense manufacturers.

The funding proposal from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will vie with those of nine other councils statewide in a competition first established in 2011 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The Island was a runner-up in last year's contest.

The projects endorsed by the local council for money from Albany were among nearly 300 asking for help. Winners now will be determined by their score on a 100-point scale, with up to 20 points from the council and up to 80 points from the state agencies providing grants and state tax credits.

"These projects continue to invest in our infrastructure, our innovation assets, our natural assets and our workforce as we outlined in the strategic plan two years ago" to create jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties over a five-year period, said Kevin Law, council co-vice chairman and president of the Long Island Association business group.

Of the $27.6 million in grants requested by the council, the biggest award, $4 million, would go to two projects in Glen Cove. One reconstructs a road connecting the waterfront to downtown, and the other creates a public piazza as part of a housing and retail project, also downtown.

Five projects have been recommended for $2 million each: another business incubator at Stony Brook University, a building renovation at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; equipment for high-technology startups; an ice rink and pedestrian bridges for the Wyandanch Rising blight-removal initiative, and road and sewer work to support The Meadows housing development in Yaphank, near Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz said the council wants the state to support educational initiatives in Wyandanch designed to give low-income residents the skills needed to get better-paying jobs.

The council also is seeking help for the defense industry, which once was the Island's economic engine. It wants $1.5 million for equipment for small factories plus $710,000 for four business expansions.

"Defense should be part of the picture," Rabinowitz said. "The real key to economic development on Long Island is . . . get people to buy our products and services who are not here by manufacturing things that people around the country want."

In addition to grant money, the council endorsed the growth plans of 17 companies, asking for $16.7 million in state tax credits for them. Winners of the statewide competition will be announced by Cuomo, probably this fall. Up to $760 million in grants and tax credits is available.

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