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8 Suffolk firms get power deal for job creation

Muffin maker Uncle Wally's, pledging to add 17

Muffin maker Uncle Wally's, pledging to add 17 workers, is among firms to pay less for electricity. (April 4, 2007) Credit: Jonathan Young

Eight companies in Suffolk County have promised to create nearly 200 jobs in return for reductions in their electric bills by the state.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the incentives from the state Power Authority, saying they were the first to spur job growth.

Earlier, the authority gave cheap electricity to businesses in return for promises not to cut payrolls, under its ReCharge NY program.

All of the local recipients in Monday's announcement also received awards in earlier rounds to maintain their respective workforces, which total 1,585 jobs. Each allocation lasts seven years.

Power Authority chief executive Gil Quiniones said, "We're looking forward to additional allocations for both job creation and retention in the months ahead."

Of the 910 megawatts available at reduced cost, 716 have been allocated. One megawatt equals the electricity used by 800 to 1,000 homes.

Among Monday's allocations, the largest, 926 kilowatts, went to defense contractor GKN Aerospace Monitor Inc. in Amityville.

The company, which offers airframe components and assemblies, expects to add 25 jobs to its payroll of 360 as part of a $12-million expansion.

GKN has received state help before. Last year, the Empire State Development Corp. provided $500,000 to support the company's $5.3-million purchase of new equipment to fulfill orders for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner passenger airplane.

More than half of the promised jobs, 100, will be created by U.S. Nonwovens Corp.

The Brentwood manufacturer of dryer sheets, soap pads and fabrics used in sanitary disposables, apparel and other products plans an $8.5-million expansion and will receive 56 kilowatts from the state. The company employs 280 people currently.

Some of the allocations are part of larger incentive packages. For example, muffin maker Uncle Wally's in Shirley plans to purchase another building, renovate existing space and buy equipment as part of a $10.6-million project.

Uncle Wally's Monday received 316 kilowatts in return for a pledge to add 17 people. Last year the company was awarded $1.5 million in state tax credits as part of Cuomo's regional economic development councils process.

About 218 people work at Uncle Wally's, which also is known as United Baking Co.

Lawmakers who work on energy issues lauded the allocations. State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick), a member of the energy committee, said, "Lowering the cost of doing business will help businesses create jobs and get our economy back on track."

The Eight Companies

The eight Suffolk companies that have promised to create jobs in return for lowered electric bills are listed below with their current number of employees and the number of jobs to be created:

Calico Cottage: 70; 7

Crescent Duck Farm: 75; 2

GKN Aerospace Monitor: 360; 25

Global Tissue Group: 70; 20

Tebbens Steel: 10; 4

U.S. Nonwovens: 280; 100

United Baking: 218; 17

Wenner Bread Products: 502; 20

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