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LIMBA April 23 Yves Michel Suff County Economic Dev

April 23, 2010 @ 12:00 am EDT


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LIMBA Meeting Recap – Yves Michel, Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing – April 23, 2010

Commissioner Michel began with an offering of thanks for the opportunity to get community input.  For the uninitiated, Yves listed all the various functions that come under his department in addition to the titled ones: The Inventors Club, the Aviation Department, and the Department of Film and Television production are just a few.  The Film and TV production department is admittedly the most glamorous job in the portfolio.  He recounted the story of the production of the movie Paper Man, opening today and starring Jeff Daniels.  Filming generates direct revenue to the county from permitting and  property rentals, but also indirect revenue by production spending.  There was a run on ladders among Hauppauge hardware stores when Sean Penn was filming the forthcoming Fair Game at the Dennison building.

The Department works with state and town departments to accentuate the good aspects of Suffolk County, mitigate the bad to the extent that it can, and help people deal with the ugly. The main mission is to help foster “Suffolk-Grown Businesses”.  In keeping with the premiere theme, the Commissioner announced the launching of the department’s new website, www.suffolkbetterforbusiness.com a virtual tour of the county for those considering locating firms here.

One of the major efforts of the department is to develop a county-wide unified permitting web portal, that will make it easy for developers to find the information they need in one place for all the levels of government that they have to deal with in a particular building location in the county.  This effort is in its nascent stages and the commissioner is working hard to pull together the various groups necessary to make this work for all the towns and villages that make up the county.

The major theme of Yves’ talk was providing information about all the programs that business can take advantage of for financing, the coordination that his department provides for business to access programs at different government levels and the open door policy that his office has.  He invited the audience to call in with questions at 631-853-4800, or submit them via email at ecodev@suffolkcountyny.gov

The general impression was given that in these tough times, the Commissioner and his staff are doing their best to make the most of scarce resources, help businesspeople access those resources, and be a strong marketing advocate for the county.

The Q&A was centered around using accessory apartments for workforce housing, and sewers.

The Commissioner expressed his support for fostering accessory apartments in each town, but emphasized the need for the towns to get on board with the concept so it could be county-wide.

Bob Bender brought up sewers being a chokepoint on development, and the commissioner concurred, describing the draft report on the county’s sewer situation.  Mitch Pally gave kudos to the commissioner for helping to use the innovative concept of Sewer Credit Rentals in keeping an important development project on track while waiting for sewers to arrive at the project’s location.

A well spent Friday morning meeting one of our important county officials in a conversational setting, getting a good view of county government and the efforts it makes to foster business here.  Join us at LIMBA and be a part of a well-informed electorate.

— Craig Plunkett