Long Island wins $100 million in state aid, $500k for EPCAL ag freezer

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | $183,000 has been awarded for a bay scallop restoration plan.

Long Island will receive $101.6 in state aid for 66 economic development projects including a bay scallop restoration plan and a cooperatively owned agriculture freezer at Calverton Enterprise Park, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

Ten New York State regional economic development councils were charged by the governor with identifying opportunities and projects that are best positioned to create jobs, according to the council’s website. A five-member panel, appointed by Mr. Cuomo, judged the job creation plans submitted by members of the 10 regional councils.

Long Island  was one of four regions named a “best plan awardee” and given more than $100 million for its projects. The other three regions were in upstate New York. All 10 regions received some aid, with most areas receiving between $49 million and $70 million.

On the North Fork, $390,000 will be given to Southold Town toward the purchase of a parcel of land along the Pipes Cove shoreline for open space preservation, $500,000 will be awarded to the development of an agri-freezer at Calverton Enterprise Park, and $183,000 will be designated for a bay scallop restoration plan run by Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“The grant award is a great way to further the goals of preservation of that area which, when taken as a whole, are astounding,” Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said of the Pipe Cove plan.

It was not immediately clear, however, how the preservation measure would create jobs, and a state spokesperson could not be immediately reached to clarify.

In a 94-page outline of all the regional projects, the Pipe Cove parcel is described as “the largest relatively undisturbed saltmarsh habitat remaining on the North Fork.

“Acquisition is critical to the anticipated Bay to Sound Trail, a hiking trail from the Peconic Estuary to LongIsland Sound.”

The agriculture freezer would be a cold storage facility for local farmers, owned cooperatively and run by Cornell Cooperative Extension, according to council board member Paulette Satur. The scallop restoration plan will be a large-scale seeding program which aims to increase production for the region and New York City’s markets.

Other Long Island awards include $4 million for a Ronkonkoma-MacArthur transit hub and $5 million to build a smarter electric grid at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.

As part of its awards package, Long Island and the three other regions will receive an additional $25 million in state aid and $15 million in tax cuts.

Officials have said the projects would create a combined 42,421 jobs for Long Island.

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