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Newsday (New York)
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has recommended 121 local projects for state aid, including a YMCA in Wyandanch and research centers at Stony Brook University and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, according to a report filed this week.
The council is seeking $3.5 million for the proposed 47,000-square-foot Wyandanch YMCA, its largest single request for aid. The $19 million fitness center would complement the ongoing Wyandanch Rising blight removal project, for which the council has won millions of aid dollars since 2011.
Anne Brigis, CEO of the YMCA of Long Island, thanked the council for its backing on Wednesday, saying, "In addition to being a resource for child care and healthy-living programs, the Wyandanch Y will provide significant job opportunities to local residents."
The YMCA is among 31 "priority projects" that received the council's top endorsement. The 121 recommended for aid by the council were selected from 230 applications as part of an annual statewide competition.
Endorsed for $2 million each in aid were the $93 million Carman Place housing and retail development in Hempstead Village, and a $5.5 million semiconductor research center at Stony Brook. The center would be a collaboration between the university and China's largest manufacturer of silicon carbide.
Council co-vice chairmen Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association business group, and Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz said the priority projects would boost the region's economy.
"These projects were selected as priorities because they promise to fuel the growth of intellectual and economic capital across multiple industries," Rabinowitz said Wednesday.
Rounding out a list of the five largest funding recommendations were $1.6 million for Feinstein's proposed Computational Genomics Center and $1.4 million for rebuilding the Sag Harbor Cinema, which was destroyed by fire last year.
Overall, the council's proposals could result in tens of millions of dollars flowing to Nassau and Suffolk counties from Albany. More than $800 million in state aid is up for grabs this year.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established 10 regional councils and launched the statewide contest in 2011. Over the years Long Island has secured total of $486.5 million for 590 projects.
An endorsement from the local council, which is composed of business, education and union leaders, doesn't guarantee a project will be funded. The state agencies providing the grants or tax credits make the final determinations.
Winners of the statewide competition will be announced by Cuomo, probably in December.
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