David Calone “LI venture capitalist and Suff Cnty Plann Chr”
September 28, 2012 @ 12:00 am EDT
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David Calone was our speaker this morning. Mr Calone has had extensive exposure on the workings of LIPA. He is also the chairman of the Suffolk Planning Commission. Today he was talking about infrastructure, energy and also talking about venture capital
He began by citing the cost of doing business on Long Island in terms of electric power and stated the power plants were grossly over assessed. Under the new contract with PSE&G there may be repowering of old plants. The way this would be done is that entirely new modern generating facilities would be built next to antiquated plants on locations that were already approved for power plants. Upon completion of the new plants, the old ones could be dismantled. Whatever we do new power sources must be built including wind generators and solar.
He spoke of a 10 town agreement on solar. Getting that done was like herding cats.
He advocates for a professional certification process that is uniform throughout the bi-county area and can be completed on-line. This would help business expedite viable plans.
Sewers are another hot topic with Calone and to build out the parts of Suffolk that can be built out practically. Calone suggests that a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) could be the vehicle to accomplish that. A TIF would create a tax that would provide for the building of sewers and the revenues from the new business and residents that they would accommodate would pay for it. Clustering of business and residential would create efficiencies and preserve open space.
Innovation and enterprise zones were discussed and Calone cited Boise Idaho as a place where venture capital flourishes. The reason that place attracts venture capital money is because there are many like minded people and they tend to be more adventures. That is to say- less risk averse. The mentality is that there will be failures, but there will be home runs as well.
We must create the environment. David used the term “economic gardening” helping established business flesh-out their plans for growth. “no worker left behind’ was another term I picked up this morning.
Long Island certainly has the wealth, what we lack is the imagination and the culture that creates the symbiosis that is required to marry people of ideas with those that have the means to invest.
Calone seems intend in changing that culture.