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Long Island downtowns to compete for $10 million state grant

Westbury, which beat out 20 Long Island rivals

Westbury, which beat out 20 Long Island rivals to win one of the $10 million downtown revitalization initiative grants last year, has hired planners to build new housing, a military museum and more. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Long Island downtowns will compete for a second year for a $10 million state grant to jump-start their redevelopment efforts, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.

Municipalities have until June 14 to submit applications for Cuomo’s annual Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which provides $10 million to one community in each of the state’s 10 regions.

Westbury was the Island winner last year, besting 19 other downtowns.

Applications will be reviewed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and one will be forwarded to state officials for the funding.

Applicants will be judged on eight factors including the compactness of the downtown area, future job growth, proximity to housing and strategy for redevelopment.

Cuomo said the program aims to give communities “the opportunity to transform their downtowns into vibrant economic hubs for people to live, work and raise a family.”

Westbury Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro said the $10 million award is helping to pay for planners and will aid in the opening of a military museum, construction of additional housing and retail shops near the Long Island Rail Road station, and improvements to the senior center.

“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative has given Westbury opportunity,” he told the development council last month. “We now have a menu of things that we can do to enhance our community.”

Kevin Law, the council’s co-vice chairman and president of the Long Island Association business group, urged downtown leaders to apply for the $10 million grant. He said he hopes to increase the number of applicants this year.

More information about the competition can be found at http://on.ny.gov/2qOL7GS.

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