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49 LI projects make their pitch for state money

Rendering of the proposed reconstruction of the Sag

Rendering of the proposed reconstruction of the Sag Harbor Cinema which caught fire and burned on Dec. 16, 2016. It's just one of the nearly 50 proposed projects pitched before New York State Redevelopment Corp. Monday, June 5, 2017. Photo Credit: Sagharborcinema.org

A YMCA with a health clinic for Wyandanch, an electronics research center at Stony Brook University and the expansion of a lighting manufacturer in Central Islip are among 49 proposals vying for “priority project” status and the state money that often comes with it.

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, which confers the status and makes funding recommendations to state government, heard two-minute pitches yesterday about the planned building projects, training programs and business expansions.

Not all will be endorsed by the local council.

Advocates for 35 projects spoke during the council meeting at Farmingdale State College. Some said their proposals would protect the water supply, rehabilitate historic sites, promote tourism, and meet other goals.

The YMCA of Long Island wants to construct a fitness center near the Long Island Rail Road station in Wyandanch. The $18.8 million facility would be adjacent to the Wyandanch Rising apartments and stores complex, and would include a swimming pool and health clinic.

YMCA CEO Anne N. Brigis said the “healthy living center” would be “convenient for commuters, residents and the surrounding communities.” She said she is seeking $3.7 million from the state and that 87 jobs would be created.

Also in Wyandanch, the Long Island Software & Technology Network and Urban League of Long Island hope to open a business incubator “to help small businesses to grow in the community,” League CEO Theresa Sanders said.

At Stony Brook University, a research center is being proposed to develop silicon carbide devices for use in electronics, energy, biotechnology and transportation.

Professor Michael Dudley said the $16 million center would quickly lead to the formation of a startup business and receive nearly $13 million from China’s largest manufacturer of silicon carbide.

The center would create 40 jobs in five years and is seeking $2.2 million from the state, he said.

Two companies — lighting manufacturer Autronic Plastics of Central Islip and technology startup Graphene Laboratories of Calverton — are each requesting a couple of hundred thousand dollars to expand production.

Autronic CEO Michael Lax said it will invest $1 million to expand fabrication of lights used in subway stations and tunnels in New York City. The project would add about eight people to a payroll of 100.

In Sag Harbor, a not-for-profit plans to rebuild the cinema that burned to the ground on Dec. 16.

The local council consists of business, labor and university leaders. It has secured $486.5 million for 590 projects in six competitions with nine other councils across the state. In this year’s contest, up to $800 million in state tax credits and grants is up for grabs.

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