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LI recommends 112 projects for millions in state aid

Luminati Aerospace CEO Daniel Preston introduced his solar-powered

Luminati Aerospace CEO Daniel Preston introduced his solar-powered aircraft, which will be used to provide internet connectivity around the equator, during an open house Friday, June 10, 2016, at his Calverton headquarters. Credit: /

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council yesterday recommended 112 local building projects and programs for tens of millions of dollars in state aid, including further improvements to downtown Wyandanch and help for aerospace factories and a business that grows leather in a laboratory.

The funding proposal could result in Nassau and Suffolk counties’ securing up to $100 million for about 100 projects in an annual statewide competition, which was established in 2011 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The state-appointed local council, made up of business, labor and education leaders, competes with nine others from across the state.

The Island council has been a big winner of grants and state tax credits in four out of five contests so far.

“We feel the state gets its best return on investment on Long Island; the money is well invested down here,” said council co-vice chairman Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group.

In the latest proposal, he said, “we have a nice combination of innovation, infrastructure, natural assets and downtown revitalization projects.”

Council co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University, was unavailable to comment yesterday.

The projects endorsed by the local council were among 178 seeking help. Winners will be determined by their score on a 100-point scale, with up to 20 points from the council and up to 80 points awarded by state agencies providing the aid.

The council deemed 38 projects “regionally significant” and backed them for grants from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

Up to $3 million is being sought for a biotechnology lab to be used by Brooklyn-based startup Modern Meadow to “grow” leather at Farmingdale State College. And $3 million is being requested for pedestrian bridges connecting the Nassau Hub to Hofstra, Nassau Community College and RXR Plaza.

Two projects — recommended for a total of up to $2.4 million — involve the Wyandanch Rising blight removal development: a new Long Island Rail Road station, and a building with 117 apartments and 1,200 square feet of retail stores. The state has invested millions of dollars in Wyandanch and the Nassau Hub in recent years.

The council is seeking up to $2.6 million for expansion projects at four aerospace manufacturers: GKN Aerospace in Amityville, Luminati Aerospace in Calverton, and Alken Industries and Industrial Metals International, both based in Ronkonkoma.

The council also requested up to $1.5 million each for a medical devices lab at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a family clinic in Hempstead Village to be operated by Winthrop-University Hospital, and a family cancer center at Southampton Hospital.

Winners of the statewide competition will be announced by Cuomo, probably in December. Up to $750 million in aid is available statewide.

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