Monday, September 28, 2009

Report From RIOC's President - Board Nominees, Southpoint Park Projects, Tram Modernization, Main Street Retail Report & Other RI Isssues Of Concern

Image Of RIOC Logo

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on RIOC Board Nominees, FDR Memorial, Green Rooms/Wild Gardens, Renwick Stabilization, Tram Overhaul, various construction projects, Main Street Retail Report, Southtown Condo Plan effective, the passing of long time Roosevelt Island resident and other issues of concern to Roosevelt Island.
September 25, 2009

1. Board of Directors: The meeting on September 17th and the Town Hall meeting which followed seemed to go relatively smoothly in our first effort to replace the bulky and expensive to produce Board Books with electronically disseminated materials and providing individual mini lap tops for each director. The nominations of Margie Smith and Mike Shinozaki to the Board and the re-nomination of Dr. Grimm have been made by the Governor, but are still pending confirmation by the NY State Senate.
2. Southpoint:
(A) Renwick Ruins: Stabilization completed and building secured.
(B) Green Rooms/Wild Gardens: The contractor continues rough grading, paths and stone walls. Phase 2 to complete the park, including finish grading, capping, and utilities, fencing and planting to follow as protocols for permitting with City are finalized.
(C) FDR Memorial: Following Board Project approval in June, RIOC is working with the State and City Parks Departments on integration of funding and oversight mechanics for the $4 million State appropriation, the matching $4.5 million from the City and at least $8 million from FERI as necessary for Phase I. Legal work on finalizing development relationship is ongoing.
3. Tram Overhaul: On schedule for shutdown March 1, 2010 and reopening end of August 2010. See renderings of the proposed Tram stations on our web site. We continue to have regular monthly progress meetings with architects, engineers, POMA, expediters, City and State agencies, etc., all to move to an orderly execution of the project.
4. Projects: Work is ongoing on many projects and others are being completed. New Public Safety space is done and PSD moved in this week. Motorgate lighting trials continue. Resurfacing and waterproofing work has been contracted for, but awaits finalization of asbestos abatement plan. AVAC fencing completed and enclosure work under way. Repair of ramp on the helix finished, but there will be further long term repairs needed. Swimming pool at Sportspark is closed for repairs to be reopened by end of October. Rehabilitation of the gym (bleachers, flooring and padding) and installation of a fire safety system also underway. Sidewalk and pavers repairs being accomplished, with restoration of grass area in Blackwell Park West (with “curb your dog” signs which will be enforced!). RIOC is studying solar panels for the rooftop of Motorgate with NYPA. Octagon sewer connection restoration from the water tunnel to begin, allowing reopening of the comfort station. Octagon field back in operation with natural surface, pending final conclusions about artificial surfaces.
5. Bank: Amalgamated Bank’s official dedication is scheduled for October 1.
6. Southtown Building 5 has declared the condo plan effective and has commenced closing units. Building 6 has commenced occupancy as a rental. Landscaping for the tram turnaround fountain is being installed. Sidewalk completed.
7. Bridge: The NYC Department of Transportation is now operating the bridge as is customary during United Nations week to accommodate the security concerns which close the west channel to ships. Obviously an inconvenience to the Island when it happens, but part of being in New York City. See gridlock in midtown. If within your control, avoid emergencies!
8. Main Street Retail: The final consultants’ report was presented on the 22nd. Much to think about in approaching the leasing of vacant stores, upgrading the appearance of occupied stores and consolidating, relocating and otherwise accommodating the various non profit users of space, all with an eye on the essential service functions. Less than terrific retail space results in less patronage which results in less than terrific retail space, etc., etc.
9. On a sad note, Archie Seale, long time resident, political activist and proprietor of the Grog Shop, passed away last weekend. His twinkle and smile will be missed.
This message was also published as the RIOC column in the 9/26/09 Main Street WIRE.


Anonymous said...

Please let us all remember Archie Seale, long time owner of the Grog Shop.

He was a true light and leader on this little Island for years.

Our Family first came to know him and his shop in 1982, when we moved here from Yorkville.

I have so many fond memories of Archie, always smiling, fighting hard for this Community, great Political Activist.

My Beloved Parents, Eleanor and Jerry Shea knew him well as did myself, Jean and my sister, Janet.

He became like a Second Dad to us, in that he was always watching out for us after we lost our Dad over ten years ago.

He always had a smile on his face and I loved to go into his shop and just talk to him.

I still see myself, an early twenty something, brand new to my new special Island home on my Haven of Roosevelt Island, sitting on the curb-where the Red bus used to stop. I was waiting to go do my laps in the large pool at Sportspark.

He helped also watch over my parents, Eleanor when she got sick with Alzheimer's and our Dad, after we lost our Mom.

I will never, ever forget him.

I miss him so much already, but I know he is in Heaven with the Lord, now.

My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and close friends.

I will be at his Memorial Service later today at 11:00am at the Good Shepard Church.

I will still be looking for him walking up Main St. to his home in Rivercross.

JM Shea