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YMCA and Farmingdale State College at front of list for state grant requests

A rendering of Farmingdale State College's proposed $53

A rendering of Farmingdale State College's proposed $53 million science center. Photo Credit: Farmingdale State College

A state-appointed council has designated 41 local economic development initiatives as “priority projects” for grant funding, officials said.

Farmingdale State College and the YMCA are seeking the most aid among the local entries in this year’s statewide business-aid competition.

Farmingdale State has requested $5 million for a proposed $53 million building devoted to applied sciences education including math, technology and science courses. College officials said the building is to help train students to work at local biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

The Farmingdale State project is among 41 endorsed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council as “priority projects” that merit substantial state funding. However, the council did not disclose its funding recommendation for each project.

The local council is vying with nine others across the state for a share of up to $750 million in state grants and tax credits. The annual Regional Economic Development Councils’ competition was established by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011.

The 41 priority projects were selected last month from 232 applications received in July.

After Farmingdale State, the YMCA of Long Island is seeking the second-largest grant: $4 million for a planned facility in Lake Success that is to include a daycare center for employees of Northwell Health and others. The total cost of the project is $18 million.

“Since 2011, the Long Island regional council has brought together experts from industry, nonprofits and academia to develop data-driven plans that have helped make our region a better place to work, live and play,” said council co-vice chairman Kevin Law, who also is president of the Long Island Association business group.

Co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University, said the council is “trying to help build the modern, walkable communities that will attract and retain the next generation of Long Islanders.”

He pointed to a $5.5 million proposal to create a waterfront in Riverhead that will connect to the revitalizing downtown. Riverhead Town is seeking $2.8 million in funding.

Three top projects are each valued at $10 million and are asking for $2 million in grants: film and television production studios in Port Washington, a training facility for nursing students at Hofstra, and new equipment for Port Washington manufacturer Long Island Fireproof Door.

Another $2 million request, from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is to support a $11.9 million facility for brain mapping research.

The Long Island council’s priority projects are seeking a total of $33.6 million. However, they likely will receive less because councils across the state can win a maximum of $20 million in grant funds and a minimum of $10 million.

Separately, the council has recommended undisclosed funding for six feasibility studies. One study will examine a meat processing facility on the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank.

Cuomo is expected to announce the winners in an Albany ceremony in December.

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