ASSEMBLY DESTEFANO ANNOUNCES MILLIONS IN STATE ECONOMIC GRANTS
Long Island has been awarded $87.9 million in state economic development grants bringing the total for the region over the last nine years to $639.1 million, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano announced last week. “Our area competes for this money through a Regional Economic Development Council and, once again, we have come out a big winner.”
In DeStefano’s 3rd Assembly District, funds have been awarded to the Town of Brookhaven for critical environmental projects including $250,000 for wetlands restoration in the Mastic Marshland Conservation Area. This will increase and preserve natural resilience in the marshlands by removing "zombie" homes, accessory structures, and cesspools, as well as re-establishing wetlands and natural flood plains. The town also will receive $50,000 to complete a wastewater treatment feasibility analysis and a comprehensive environmental review of proposed zoning amendments for Mastic Beach, measures that will go a long way toward revitalizing the downtown area.
The town will also receive $393,750 to acquire land in Yaphank to enhance a designated special groundwater protection zone for the Carmans River watershed.
The Village of Bellport will get $112,500 to replace playground equipment in the Bellport Bandshell-Marina Park, a popular facility on Bellport Bay.
To help bolster tourism and business, Discover Long Island will receive $187,500 to promote Long Island as both an appealing destination and an attractive location for new or re-located business operations. “Funding will support modifying our branding message, focusing media plans and targeting trade show participation to achieve both objectives,” DeStefano explained.
For those less fortunate, $400,000 will go to Long Island Cares to extend its offices at the Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank to provide additional services including career development programs for veterans and low-income individuals.
According to DeStefano, Stony Brook University is a huge economic generator for our area and funds will be made available for various projects including: $1.5 million to expand Biocogent, a Stony Brook University incubator company to add jobs and expand its biomanufacturing capacity; $300,000 to create a new Center for Laser Manufacturing to assist companies in creating new high technology glass applications; and $270,000 for the university's Advanced Energy Research Center to address energy and environmental issues.
“I’m also pleased to announce $1 million for the Suffolk County Police Consolidated Records Management System, a vital operation for intelligence-led policing, investigations, and record keeping,” the assemblyman said.
The state will also provide $70,000 to study the feasibility of a meat processing facility at the County Farm in Yaphank to provide opportunities for local farmers while reducing County operational expenses.
To better serve our transportation needs, $1 million will be made available to continue the modernization of the Long Island MacArthur Airport’s main terminal, including new vestibule doors, roof and a a state-of-the-art baggage claim wing.
The state also reserved $6 million for future projects including business investments that create or retain jobs, in addition to $35 million available to state and local governments for economic development, infrastructure and community revitalization efforts.
“The system for awarding state grants is very competitive and our region has been designated a ‘Top Performer,’” DeStefano pointed out. “In fact, I’m very pleased to say that the $87.9 million we received this year is $20.9 million more than won by New York City.”
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