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Bellone Introduces 'Innovation Zone' Plan

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has announced a $350 million plan to upgrade the county's infrastructure to attract and keep more young people on Long Island. The plan is called the Long Island Innovation Zone.

It includes money for affordable housing in the downtown areas of Ronkonkoma, Patchouge, and Yaphank. Bellone said the plan also includes increased Long Island Railroad service between those downtowns and universities and research centers.

“This innovation zone would be a hub for companies and young people that have the housing they need, the transportation connections that they need in order to thrive, in order for our economy to be vibrant,” he said.

Bellone announced the Innovation Zone plan on Tuesday. He said it's in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo's call for local leaders around the state to develop regional economic development projects. The county hopes to fund the plan with money from the state, local town budgets, and from private investors.