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  • Business Expansions and Contractions, Long Island Region

    Business Expansions and Openings

    New Items

    The Long Island Power Authority announced a new solar power program which, once LIPA trustees approve, will pay 22 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity generated by the sun.  The so-called "feed-in tariff" came about as part of the state's NY-SUN Initiative.  Solar electricity generators must sign a 20-year contract.  This program comes on the heels of LIPA's program of rebates that have already subsidized 5,000 solar energy systems on Long Island.  (Newsday - April 20, 2012)

    Jericho (Nassau) - based Canrock Ventures is one of the six venture capital businesses to receive $4.5 million from the state government to be invested in new technology firms as part of the Innovate New York Program.  Canrock's obligation is to triple the amount of money given by the state from private investors and launch "about 12" tech start-up companies in Nassau and Suffolk counties.   The U.S.Treasury Department contributed $25 million to the initiative and the state contributed $1.5 million.  Empire State Development Corp. approved the allocations.  (Newsday - April 18, 2012)

    CSEA and Rockville Centre village have agreed to a new six-year deal that is retroactive to June 1, 2010, and freezes salaries for the first two years of the deal.  One major hurdle settled in the new contract was the village's usage of outside contractors to haul garbage from its transfer station to OMNI's waste faclity in Babylon. The union maintained that hauling trash should be exclusive to the union.  The village agreed to transfer no more than 240 loads a year by an outside contractor, and no more than five loads per week.  (Rockville Centre 18, 2012)

    Freeport teachers have approved a contract modification that defers their total salary and step increases over two years and preserves jobs and programs that may otherwise have been cut.  As a result of this decision, the full-day kindergarten program, enrichment program and all teaching positions scheduled to be cut will be included in the proposed budget except for those positions not filled due to retirement.   They had been looking at cutting at least 20 teachers.  ( 17, 2012)

    Three commercial business deals are closing and eleven have commitments to close thanks to the help of the Town of Babylon (Suffolk County) Industrial Development Agency. The town's property tax savings plan, which offers a 50% reduction in the first year, declining by 5% each year thereafter, is attractive. The standard deal is for 12 years and can go for as long as 15 years for a company retaining or creating 50 jobs or more. The three companies that received deals so far are:

    • E. Clips USA/Llc (a school and stationary product wholesaler.
    • Gallant & Wein LI Corp/SHJ Realty Llc of Plainview (5 employees with 2 to be added).
    • Rejuvenal Laboratories Inc., Amityville, a manufacturer and distributor of salon items, will bring or retain 39 employees to the town and promise 36 new hires within two years.

    (Newsday - April 16, 2012)

    Ronkonkoma (Suffolk) - based Lakeland Industries Inc. is in contract for $5.3 million to produce fire resistant coveralls to the Brazilian Navy.   Lakeland also signed a contract to produce $2.3 million for firefighting gear.  (Newsday - April 16, 2012)

    Newly created Signature Financial Llc in Melville (Suffolk County) has hired 30 veteran executive staff from All Points Capital, a financing and leasing company specializing in funding for independent lessors nationwide.  Signature Bank will also open a new private banking office, a middle market team of four in Hauppauge (Suffolk), to manage Long Island's private banking clientele.  (Newsday - April 10, 2012)

    (Update) German discount supermarket Aldi Food Market saw such a "phenomenal" response to its first Long Island store, which opened last August in Bay Shore (Suffolk County), that the company has opened a second store this month in Lake Grove and plans to open a third in Lindenhurst (both Suffolk County) in early 2013.  (Newsday - April 3, 2012)

    Melville (Suffolk) - based Comtech Telecommunications Corp. received a new U.S. Army contract worth $80.7M for satellite battlefield command systems.  The electronic battlefield control system, Blue Force Tracking, reduces the possibility of friendly fire casualties. The contract will begin April 8, 2012 and end March 31, 2013.  (Newsday - April 2, 2012)

    Previously Reported

    NY State expects to spend $347 million on bridge and road work on Long Island in the budget year ending next March, nearly double the prior year's $190 million total. Local projects include repairs to six bridges and 86 miles of roads and upgrades at seven local state parks.  The NY State Department of Transportation preapproved four teams of companies, each containing an engineer and a building contractor, who work together to submit bids and, if chosen, complete the projects.  Four Island-based firms are on the preapproved list: contractor Posillico Civil Inc. of Farmingdale will team up with engineer Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Babylon (both Suffolk County), while contractor Peter Scalamandre and Sons Inc. of Freeport will collaborate with LiRo Engineers Inc. of Syosset (both Nassau County); The repairs could create as many as 2,000 jobs, according to Marc Herbst, the head of the LI Contractors' Association. The unemployment rate in Long Island's construction trades surged to 30 percent after the 2008 financial crisis, according to Herbst. ( 6, 2012)

    As the Westhampton Beach (Suffolk County) School District prepares to cut adult education from its budget, the Westhampton Free Library said that it intends to duplicate some of the programs offered by the district. Starting May 1 the library will also stay open later, till 10 p.m. during the week, 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sunday.  (Westhampton Hampton Bays 5, 2012)

    Bethpage (Nassau County)-based Best Yet Market, a family-run chain of grocery stores that emphasizes fresh produce, deli sales and baked goods, is currently hiring for new stores in Huntington Station and East Patchogue (both Suffolk County) as well as for its 11 existing locations.  Both of the new stores, which are scheduled to open in late April or early May, will fill former Waldbaum's stores left empty following recent closings.  When the news stores open, the company will change its name to Best Market. ( 5, 2012)


    Business Contractions and Closings

    New Items

    (Update) Suffolk County lawmakers approved a plan to lay off more than 300 workers on July 1. The legislature's layoff list restores 149 positions from the list of cuts originally proposed. Under civil service rules, senior union employees on the layoff list will now have the opportunity to "bump out" lower-ranking colleagues. To ease the transition for departing workers, County Executive Bellone said the labor department will launch a pilot program that provides the workers with job search assistance, counseling and resume preparation training. The Association of Municipal Employees represents a majority of the workers. ( 24, 2012)

    (Update)  More than 70 Suffolk police officers, including senior members of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association and the detective and supervisors' unions, plan to retire early as part of a deal with the Suffolk Police Department to save the jobs of new recruits.  Only 38 were needed to assure that rookies would not be laid off this summer, when they are scheduled to finish the training academy.  The number of voluntary police departures means it's less likely there will be any police department layoffs or demotions this year.  ( 17, 2012)

    Previously Reported

    (Update) Lawmakers, department heads and aides to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone are meeting to review the list of layoff notices that county officials are preparing to issue to 422 workers by month's end, in what would be the largest layoff in county history.  The union bump-and-retreat process -- in which senior members are demoted rather than laid off, forcing out those below them -- adds complexity to the process.  Funding for the affected positions expires June 30, and notices must be mailed by April 30.  ( 11, 2012)

    A rough outline of the 2012-2013 budget in the City of Long Beach (Nassau County) threatens layoffs for "roughly 75 employees, or 20 percent of the city labor force" if the city does not meet its budget reduction target.  The City Council will hold public hearings on the budget on May 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. The council will vote to adopt the budget on or before May 31, and it will take effect July 1.  ( 11, 2012)

    Smithtown (Suffolk County) School District Superintendent Edward Ehmann proposed a 2012-2013 budget which, despite increasing by 1.63 percent over the current budget, would result in layoffs for roughly 45 faculty and staff members  The cuts would include eleven elementary school employees, three full time employees from "special areas"; one elementary principal and one assistant principal; one teacher assistant; five nurses; two greeters; six lunch monitors; one clerk typist and one senior clerk typist; two custodial positions, and five full time music teachers.  Also, due to declining enrollment, a social worker and psychologist retiring at the end of the year won't be replaced.  The school board will review and vote on the budget on April 17.  (Smithtown 6, 2012)

    The Southold (Suffolk County) School District plans to not replace teaching positions equivalent a total of 1.7 full-time positions when current teachers retire at the end of this year.  The school board plans to hold a vote April 17 to adopt the budget and plans to put the proposed budget before voters May 15. (Suffolk 5, 2012)

    The West Islip (Suffolk County) School District will receive more money in state aid for the 2012-2013 school year than it projected in January.  There is no indication yet how the new numbers will affect this year's West Islip school budget, which includes cuts to the BOCES vocational education and to dance programs. The school board votes on the proposed budget on April 18, and district residents will vote on the plan on May 15.  (West Islip 5, 2012)

    The Hauppauge (Suffolk County) Board of Education adopted a budget for the 2012-13 school year, which it will present to district residents for a vote on May 8.  The budget proposes hiring seven new teachers:5 full-time special education teachers for its integrated co-teaching model in the elementary schools, a full-time teacher for its Languages Other Than English program and a full-time Literacy Collaborative support person to support reading instruction.  In exchange, the district will lay off 16 teaching assistants.  (Hauppauge 5, 2012)

    The Springs (Suffolk County) School District is considering laying off seven teachers and two teaching assistants in order not to run afoul of the state cap on property tax increases. Board members agreed to eliminate two full-time teaching assistants in the first grade, lay off one English-as-a-Second-Language teacher and replace the position with a lower salaried employee. They also agreed to an adjustment of the school day, which would force four full-time middle school teachers into part-time status. The board must adopt a school budget by April 23. ( 5, 2012)

    The Remsenburg-Speonk (Suffolk County) School District superintendent announced at an emergency community forum that salary concessions from its teachers union will not be enough to prevent the district from piercing the tax levy cap, but said the levy would have been much higher if not for salary concessions made by the district's teachers.  The teachers have agreed to a new contract that is valid through the 2012-13 school year and have agreed to forgo a pay increase for the current and the 2012-13 school years, as well as their contractual "step increases" for next year.  The current version of the spending plan calls for the elimination of three full-time and one part-time teaching position at the elementary school. The board will not replace one full-time teacher who is retiring at the end of the school year and intend to lay off one special education teacher and a teaching assistant. A part-time speech teacher will also be let go.  The superintendent also posted a document on the district website to give school officials an idea of what can be cut if board is forced to slash additional funding from next year's spending plan. ( 5, 2012)

    At least six Long Island school districts plan to propose budgets that would result in property-tax increases exceeding taxation limits the state is imposing next year for the first time.  Some officials in the six districts, all in Suffolk County, said those plans could change if employee unions agree to last-minute wage concessions. They added, however, that without more money, either from cost reductions tied to personnel or from taxpayers, they see no way to avoid cuts.  Districts planning to seek tax hikes above the new state limits include Amagansett, East Islip, North Babylon, Remsenberg-Speonk, Rocky Point and Westhampton Beach.  No Nassau districts have yet announced similar plans, though sources said a few have had private discussions.  Residents will vote on school budgets on May 15.  In East Islip, Reed said unless the district exceeds the cap, it faces the prospect of laying off about 40 teachers and other staffers while also cutting sports, music and full-day kindergarten.  A Westhampton Beach, board member offered a similar rationale for his district's decision to seek higher taxes.  Districts seeking to pierce the cap must win support from at least 60 percent of local voters.  ( 5, 2012)

    The South Huntington (Suffolk County) School District's Board of Education unanimously adopted a budget that includes over $3 million in savings by cuts in services including paring full-day kindergarten services to a half-day program and laying off teaching, paraprofessional and custodial staff.  Voters will get a chance to approve or reject the budget on May 15. Cutting kindergarten to half-day will affect about 400 children.  The move follows other Long Island districts like Central Islip, Elwood and Huntington, which have also introduced half-day kindergarten to save money.  South Huntington's school district budget includes cuts to teaching, paraprofessionals, clerical staff, administration and substitute teaching. ( 5, 2012)

    The East Hampton (Suffolk County) School Board unanimously adopted a $62.8 million budget proposal on that remains within the state-imposed 2% cap on property tax increases, in part, by eliminating 12 staff positions: the facilities administrator and the director of unified arts, one teacher each from the English, reading and Languages Other Than English departments, five paraprofessionals and two custodians.  Three unspecified positions will also be reduced.  Nine teaching and nonteaching employees who took early retirement or resigned will not be replaced.  Savings will also be achieved by sharing some transportation and special education services with neighboring districts.  ( 4, 2012)

    Islandia (Suffolk County)-based computer giant CA Technologies has informed close to 50 employees of its Global Information Services department, that their jobs will be eliminated to reduce costs.  Meanwhile CA plans to hire an equal number of employees over the next 12 months, although "not all" new hires will be on Long Island; some of the new hires would be in other locations, including the company's India Technology Center.  (Long Island Business 5, 2012)

    (Update) Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone unveiled a $162-million package to begin closing Suffolk's $530-million budget gap.  The largest part of Bellone's plan calls for borrowing from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at a 3.5 percent interest rate over 10 years to help cover the spike in the county pension bill.  Bellone's plan also axes  the "Health Smart" program which trains teachers and runs school programs on drugs, obesity and bullying, and suspends the living wage subsidy for workers in nonprofit programs.  ( 2, 2012)

    The Port Jefferson (Suffolk County) School District plans to cut five teaching positions and expand class sizes, although it is not clear whether the job cuts would come in the form of layoffs or attrition.  The district's budget proposal - like those of all Long Island school districts - is subject to voter approval on May 15.  ( 4, 2012)

    The Westhampton Beach (Suffolk County) Board of Education has adopted a budget for the 2012-13 school year which must garner the support of 60 percent of taxpayers since it rises above the state's tax cap.  The plan eliminates seven district jobs,-including three teaching positions-and cuts all funding for the district's adult education program.  ( 3, 2012)

    Thermo Fisher Scientific, which provides laboratory equipment, chemicals, supplies and services for research, safety, health care and science education around the globe, plans to close a small plant in Holtsville (Suffolk County) by Sept. 30 as a cost-saving move, resulting in layoffs for all of its 25 employees. ( 3, 2012)

    The Diocese of Rockville Center (Nassau County) filed WARN notices for the closing of six elementary schools resulting in the elimination of 167 jobs.  The schools will close their doors on June 30. (WARN Notices, April 2-6, 2012)

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