The governor's office will not pay for Freeport officials' recent economic development trips to China and Germany, a spokeswoman for the governor said, contrary to statements made by Mayor Andrew Hardwick.

At village board meetings last month, when asked how the trips would be financed, Hardwick had cited a September letter from Gov. David A. Paterson that said the governor was "affirming my commitment" to grant Freeport $25,000 "to support the ongoing and growing economic development relationship between the state of New York and our friends in China."

But a spokeswoman for Paterson confirmed last week that the $25,000 grant would not be given out. The spokeswoman, Maggie McKeon, would not discuss the reasons for the change. Her statement came after State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) asked Paterson's office whether Freeport would get the travel funding.

Hardwick did not respond to requests for comment last week and Tuesday.

In a question-and-answer document posted to the village website Monday, Hardwick said the state also had agreed to pay more than $60,000 "for the associated costs, not including travel and lodging" of the travel.

Tuesday, Village Attorney Howard Colton said Deputy Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) had agreed to supply the $60,000 from her discretionary fund. It will pay for the production of two videos about Freeport, made for the Germany and China trips. He said the village spent $7,460 for travel and lodging. Hooper could not be reached for comment.

In October, Hardwick and a consultant to the village went to China with a delegation of state legislators and business people on a nine-day trip led by the Asian-American Business Development Center.

In February, a handful of village officials flew to Germany to tour waste-to-energy plants built by ZhongDe Waste Technology, based in China and Germany. The company has proposed a waste-to-energy facility in Freeport, described in a March letter to Fuschillo from business development center president John Wang as "in the early planning stages."

The letter stated that the business center's affiliate in Beijing had introduced the incinerator project. It invited Fuschillo on a June trade mission to China, where a "highlight of the trip will be the signing of a memorandum of understanding between ZhongDe Waste Technology and the city of Freeport, Long Island" for the proposed waste-to-energy project.

Colton said the village is not participating in any trip to China in June and there is no such memorandum. According to Colton, Paterson's office has not notified village officials that $25,000 grant won't be made.

Village trustee Jorge Martinez, who sent Hardwick memos requesting information about the trips, said the mayor needs to clarify how the village will get reimbursed for the travel.

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