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16 LI companies get NY aid on electric bills for hiring, retaining workers

Sixteen local companies are receiving help from New York State to reduce their electric bills over seven years, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.

As a group, the businesses employ 1,510 people and have promised to maintain those jobs and add 380 more in return for discounted electricity from the Power Authority.

The businesses also plan to invest $166 million in building expansions and equipment purchases.

Cuomo said the authority's ReCharge NY program is "providing affordable power to local businesses [that] drives economic development."

The largest project is a $112 million headquarters in North Hills for Dealertrack Technologies. The creator of computer software for auto dealerships is moving from Lake Success rather than leave the state.

Dealertrack will receive 580 kilowatts of low-cost power in return for retaining 500 jobs and creating 250 more. The company also has received help from Nassau County and Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency.

A thousand kilowatts equal 1 megawatt, which is capable of powering 800 to 1,000 homes.

The biggest allocation of the latest awards, 600 kilowatts, is going to Eastern Wholesale Fence Co. in Calverton, which has agreed to maintain its workforce of 130 people.

Of the 16 recipients, only eight companies are adding jobs. "It is critically important for the program to protect jobs as well as create new ones, to ensure that enterprises already established in New York solidify their position in the state and invest in their existing infrastructure," authority spokesman Paul DeMichele said.

Others receiving cheap electricity include:

Drugmaker A&Z Pharmaceutical will use 206 kilowatts for a $35 million expansion in Hauppauge that will add 40 people to the company's workforce of 56.

Food distributor Air Stream Corp. will use 106 kilowatts for $5.5 million worth of improvements to its Oceanside facility, where 210 people work and an additional 50 will be hired.

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