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Suffolk IDA backs 2 rail-related companies

KLD Labs and CooCoo SMS will each get

KLD Labs and CooCoo SMS will each get property tax cuts to help them expand their railroad-related businesses in Suffolk. (March 4, 2011) Credit: Craig Ruttle

Two companies that provide equipment and services to the Long Island Rail Road and other train systems are planning expansions in Suffolk County, officials said Thursday.

KLD Labs Inc., which makes measuring equipment, wants to more than double the size of its office and factory by purchasing a building in Hauppauge. CooCoo SMS Inc. also needs more space in Huntington as its applications for accessing train schedules and purchasing tickets via mobile devices catch on with commuters.

The projects were endorsed Thursday by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency with tax breaks.

KLD, based in Huntington Station, has outgrown its 10,700-square-foot home at 300 Broadway and plans to buy 55 Cabot Ct. in Hauppauge for $2.8 million.

Company president Steven A. Magnus said, "We have 300 rail measuring systems in 29 countries but we see tremendous growth opportunities in the future, particularly in the United States."

Magnus and his brother, Daniel, founded KLD in 1989 as an outgrowth of their late father's engineering business in Westbury. KLD produces equipment used by railroads to test the condition of tracks and train cars. The tests are necessary to comply with safety standards and maintenance regimens.

KLD has 41 employees and expects to hire four more in two years. Salaries, on average, are $78,303, records show.

The IDA backed the $3-million expansion with $193,032 in tax breaks, including a $166,000, or 35 percent, reduction in property taxes over 12 years.

The IDA also supported CooCoo's plan to add 600 to 900 square feet at 356 New York Ave. The $215,000 project will add 10 people to the company's payroll of eight within two years, according to Christopher Boylan, a CooCoo board director.

The young company, which is partially funded by the Hicksville-based investment fund Canrock Ventures, is growing as it rolls out a mobile ticketing option for commuters. It hopes to secure work in Texas, California and Florida.

"We expect our business to double or triple in the next six months," Boylan said.

CooCoo will receive a $64,000 cut in property taxes over five years and a $2,500 sales-tax exemption. Its workers earn $62,750 on average.

Citing CooCoo, IDA executive director Anthony Manetta said the county hopes to encourage "development of a technology hub" in Huntington Village.

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