This year’s Regional Economic Development Council awards will be announced Thursday. Either way, Long Island wins. The Island’s proposal seeks to fund East End fish farms, Huntington Station redevelopment, a U.S. customs center that would permit international flights at MacArthur Airport, and more. The local council requested $105 million from the state, which it would get if chosen as one of four top regions. If not, the Island will get $90 million.
A win for Long Island isn’t really about the extra $15 million. It’s more about the prestige of another win, and the ability for local officials to declare victory. The state funding is key to local development. But it’s also important that, as suggested by a New York civic organization, local and state officials expand reporting and monitoring to ensure the funds are used well.