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20 LI downtowns vying for $10M state grant

Long Island Regional Economic Development Council meets Tuesday,

Long Island Regional Economic Development Council meets Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at Hofstra Univeresity: Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz, co-vice chairman of the council, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, chairman of the council, and Long Island Association president Kevin Law, co-vice chairman of the council. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Twenty downtowns on Long Island will vie for a $10 million grant from the state for development efforts, officials said.

Eleven communities in Nassau County and nine in Suffolk submitted applications by last Friday’s deadline for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new Downtown Revitalization Initiative, according to Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for Empire State Development, the agency administering the funds.

He did not reveal the identities of the downtowns.

The applications now will be reviewed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, a group of local business executives and academic and labor leaders appointed in 2011 by Cuomo to help guide building efforts on the Island.

“We’ve received a nice mix of applications from both counties,” said council co-vice chairman Kevin Law, who also is president of the Long Island Association business group. “We have created a subcommittee and developed some criteria to evaluate the applications.”

He also said on Monday that the subcommittee would identify a group of finalists who may then be invited to make presentations to the full council.

The council is facing a June 30 deadline to recommend one downtown to the state for the $10 million prize.

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