Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) is pleased to announce that the Long Island Regional Council was awarded $101.6 Million for their “Best Plan” for economic development, competing in the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The Regional Councils, formed this past July, work to drive economic growth and create jobs by fundamentally shifting the state’s approach to economic development.
“The Regional Councils across the State will change the way New York does business,” said Hannon. “Each region focused the expertise of those who know their region best to maximize job creation and economic growth, and the 10 separate Regional Councils submitted their proposals to New York. I’m extremely pleased that the Long Island Regional Council’s plan was named ‘Best’ in all of New York State.”
Governor Cuomo noted that Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development from a top-down development model to a community-based, performance driven approach which empowers individual areas to develop comprehensive strategic plans that invest in regional solutions to create jobs and economic growth. As part of the Regional Council process, a Strategic Plan Review Committee was chosen to analyze and rank the strategic plans for each region competing for $200 million in specially targeted economic development funding.
Long Island’s proposal was the result of months of consideration and public input. Statewide, more than 100 public meetings, forums and community were held, with thousands of New Yorkers contributing to the development of the plans.
Below is a description of the Long Island Regional Council’s Plan:
LONG ISLAND NAMED BEST PLAN AWARDEE: WILL RECEIVE $101.6 MILLION
Strategy for Economic Innovation and Revitalization
The Long Island Regional Council Plan advanced transformative projects that invest in four major categories: Innovative Economy, Smart Growth for Communities, Natural Assets and Workforce and Education. It also addressed challenges of a stressed infrastructure, loss of young workers and economic disparities.
The vision statement laid out a clear goal: "to support a sustainable, innovative and inter-connected job-generating economy that also redevelops areas suffering from disinvestment and mobilizes the entire region for years to come." The primary strategy was to grow the advanced manufacturing base while encouraging innovation in five industry clusters.
The elements of that strategy included: building on existing businesses; commercializing research; strengthening the workforce; promoting and protecting natural resources; providing equal opportunity in housing, employment and education; and investing in infrastructure and other industries (tourism, agriculture, and fisheries).
Investing in Innovation Economy
$5 million will support the Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab for the Smarter Electric Grid 3 project. This project will bring added regional benefits of lower power costs, and improved research capacity and training for high-tech students. Smarter Electric Grid 3 will operate out of a new facility to be built at Brookhaven National Lab (AEGIS), and the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook University that will be augmented by construction of a new Smart Grid Test and Validation Facility.
$2 million will enhance construction of a new cancer drug testing facility at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The 8,000 square foot project, to be built in Woodbury, will be a first-of-its kind advanced testing facility.
$3 million will expand Amneal Pharmaceuticals' facility to retain and create critical high-tech jobs and partnerships with research institutions. Amneal is one of Long Island's largest pharmaceutical firms and this expansion will strengthen the region's position in the highly competitive fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.
Dedication to Community Revitalization, Housing and Transportation Infrastructure
$6 million will support Wyandanch Rising, which is part of a broader Nassau / Suffolk regional transportation and sustainable communities plan connecting Wyandanch to the Route 110 Corridor. It includes strategies to increase home ownership, retrofit and rehabilitate existing single-family homes with energy-efficient upgrades, employment training programs focused on green jobs, and rehabilitating an urban park in an underserved community.
$5 million will fund the Village of Hempstead mixed-use project involving 3,400 new housing units and 700,000 square feet of commercial, entertainment and retail space around Nassau County's busiest multimodal transit center. The project, which also includes the replacement of aged sewer pipes, will bring in new investment, jobs, and tax revenue.
$4 million will construct the Ronkonkoma-MacArthur Transit Hub project, providing for a new sewage treatment plant and allowing construction of a new transit-oriented, live-work-play destination in a blighted area. This project will also strengthen ties between Suffolk's busiest rail station and LI MacArthur Airport. The creation of a village downtown, which would include housing, retail, office and restaurants space, would transform the blighted area near the station into a vibrant community and meet a regional need for affordable housing and sustainable neighborhoods.
$2.5 million will go to Heartland Town Square in Islip to transform an abandoned, blighted property into a self-contained suburban city. This 452 acre mixed-use development project will be built in phases to include 9,300 rental units, 1 million square feet of retail and hotel spaces and 3 million square feet of office and commercial spaces.
Leveraging Natural Assets and Improving Tourism
$182,900 will expand bay scallop restoration efforts in Suffolk County, which includes the acquisition of machinery and equipment, supplies and working capital through the Cornell Cooperative Extension. A large-scale seeding program will improve the East End industry dramatically, increasing production for the region and New York City's gourmet markets and stimulating both business and job creation.
$100,000 will finance public access improvements to the Harborwalk and Harborfront Park in the Village of Port Jefferson. The park, adjacent to the Port Jefferson / Bridgeport Ferry terminal, has become an established tourist destination on the North Shore and has revitalized Port Jefferson's adjacent downtown business district.
Developing High-Tech Workforce Education
$1.8 million will help create and retain a technically proficient workforce. The project entails collaboration of Long Island's three workforce investment boards on the STEM Hub which will fund training focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
$2 million will support the Hofstra and Stony Brook University for the EngINE project. The project includes the acquisition of lab equipment, facility rehabilitation, and will boost the number of engineering graduates.
The approved Long Island regional plan includes 66 funded projects totaling $101.6 million.
For a full appendix of these projects, go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/CFAAWARDSBooklet.pdf