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Jones Beach adventure park, med school among LI projects vying for aid

A rendering from WildPlay Element Parks of the

A rendering from WildPlay Element Parks of the East Mall Adventure Course proposed at Jones Beach State Park 

An adventure park at Jones Beach, a business incubator in Southampton, a medical school at Mineola’s NYU Winthrop Hospital and 324 apartments for the poor in Hempstead Village are among the projects a group of local leaders is recommending for millions of dollars in state funding.

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council this week endorsed 142 construction projects, company expansions and education programs for a share of up to $750 million in state grants and tax credits to be awarded in December.

The nominations were selected from 180 eligible aid applications received earlier this year. They were screened by dozens of people in working groups that then made recommendations to the council, which consists of business executives, union leaders, academics and nonprofit officials — all appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Final decisions on funding are made in Albany by the state agencies providing the money.

This is the eighth year of Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils competition.

The Long Island council has been a big winner in five of the past seven years, bringing home $570 million for 688 projects that will create and retain more than 26,000 jobs, said Cara Longworth, the council’s executive director and regional director at Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

Council Co-Vice Chairman Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group, said this year’s nominated projects, as a group, “will help to make the region’s future bright by creating jobs, training the workforce and improving the quality of life.”

Among the projects forwarded to Albany are:

• The East Mall Adventure Course at Jones Beach State Park. The $1.5 million project, to be run by WildPlay Element Parks of British Columbia, will include rope courses, a 40-foot-high zip line, pathways and play areas for all ages, according to Cuomo’s office.

• Expansion of the Spur, a co-working space and business incubator that opened in Southampton in January.

 • The proposed NYU Long Island School of Medicine at Winthrop hospital, which will train primary-care doctors in a three-year degree program. The school, to be located in the NYU Winthrop Research and Academic Center at 101 Mineola Blvd., will initially have 24 students and 45 faculty members. Classes could begin in July if accreditation and state approvals are received, said Lisa Greiner, a spokeswoman for NYU School of Medicine.  

• Estella Housing, a 324-unit complex for low-income residents in Hempstead Village, is being proposed by the nonprofit Concern for Independent Living Inc., headquartered in Medford. 

Stuart Rabinowitz, council co-vice chairman and Hofstra University president, said the other 2018 funding endorsements run the gamut from a parking garage in downtown Patchogue to a science and technology training program for children with cancer at the Sunrise Association summer camp.

“The broad base of Long Islanders will benefit if we win” state funding, he said.

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