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Council to recommend LI projects to state

Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, second from right,

Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, second from right, at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Wednesday. The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council convened and whittled a list of about 200 applications to put together a list of 16 “priority projects” that they will present to the state. (Sept. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will recommend 16 "priority projects" to the state in hopes of receiving $25 million in funding. Among the supported projects are four initiatives that received funding last year and the Nassau Hub redevelopment plan.

In a meeting Wednesday, the regional council unveiled the priority projects, selected from a pool of 200 applications, that it will submit to the state Friday. The projects could result in the creation of more than 8,000 local jobs, said Kevin Law, co-chairman of the regional council.

Long Island will be competing for funding from the state with regional councils from Buffalo, Syracuse and the North Country, which encompasses Watertown and the Adirondacks. In 2011, the Long Island regional council was able to secure $101.6 million in funding -- one of the highest in the state -- for the program's inaugural year. The state plans on announcing this year's winners in the late fall.

Redevelopment of the 77-acre Nassau Hub area, which includes the aging Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, was listed Wednesday as a priority project for the first time by the council. Last year, Nassau County applied for funding but the Hub was not selected.

"Something good needs to happen there," Law said of the Nassau Hub. "We're not going to dictate what should go there or what shouldn't go there, but we know it needs support from our council and there need to be infrastructure improvements in that area."

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said he was grateful for the council's support, adding: "I look forward to announcing a master developer to ignite the process of redevelopment of the Hub."

The other initiatives chosen by the council center around economic development, medical and technological research and infrastructure on Long Island. Some of the supported projects include a biomedical research facility and incubator at Stony Brook University, aid to two commercial fishing facilities in Montauk and the building of 225,000 square feet of hangar space at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.

Four plans that received state funding last year were deemed priority projects again by the council -- the Ronkonkoma Hub, Wyandanch Rising, Hempstead Village and Smart Grid 3, should receive funding again.

The specific amount of funding the council is advocating for each project will be disclosed Friday afternoon after the proposal is officially submitted. The regional council is also recommending 73 non-priority projects to the state and 11 projects for the Excelsior Jobs Program, which gives technology and manufacturing companies tax credits.

With Robert Brodsky


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