SBU, East End duck farm get state grants

Crescent Farms' Doug Corwin: $250,000 in state funds for disseae control.

Stony Brook University is in line for a $1 million grant to help renovate and purchase equipment for its College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as part of $18 million in economic development funding the state announced Thursday.

A second $250,000 award was approved for private Aquebogue firm H.F. Corwin and Sons to help fund improvements to its state-of-the-art duck hatchery.

All told, the winning projects are slated to create 403 new jobs and retain nearly 1,500 existing jobs across New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in announcing the grants.

“This funding is another example of our commitment to revitalizing the Empire State’s economy and ensuring that New York is truly open for business,” the governor said in a statement.

Stony Brook’s award is being used to offset the costs of purchasing and installing equipment in its renovated engineering laboratories – breeding grounds for innovative programs in chemical, molecular, civil and other engineering fields.

Installation of the new equipment is scheduled to be completed by December, according to the governor’s office.

Family-owned duck breeder H.F. Corwin and Sons – responsible for roughly 4 percent of U.S. duck production, according to the governor – will use its $250,000 stipend to safeguard the health of the 150,000-bird population on Long Island’s last remaining duck farm, Aquebogue’s Crescent Duck Farm. The company plans to improve the sterility in its hatchery to prevent disease from spreading through the duck population.

H.F. Corwin will use the funding to retain 80 jobs and create two new positions, while increasing production by up to 20,000 ducks annually.

The biggest single grant announced Thursday went to the Oswego-based Novelis Corp., a part of global aluminum company Novelis Inc. The corporation was granted $5 million to fund construction and equipment purchases at its manufacturing building and scrap facility.

Vibrant Syracuse Spaces LLC, which is renovating a dilapidated Syracuse building into studio and manufacturing spaces for entrepreneurs, also received $680,000. Central New York was the highest-funded region in Thursday’s announcement.

Other large awards include a $3 million grant for equipment purchases by publicly held Corning Inc., a maker of heavy-duty diesel engine emission-control products that employs over 4,900 people across New Yok’s Southern Tier, and a $1.775 million grant for not-for-profit Valley Health Services, which is developing a new community health center in the Mohawk Valley region.

Empire State Development also funneled capital to one project in the New York City region: a $500,000 loan to help the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. capitalize the Bronx Revolving Loan Fund, a backer of small businesses located outside of state empowerment zones or otherwise unable to access traditional funding sources.