Monday, May 19, 2014

New Roosevelt Island Garden Club Plots To Residents Only, July 4 Fireworks Viewing Confusion, Tram Elevator/Gate Update, Sportspark Conditions, Blackwell Park Playground & Boy Scouts Subject Of RIRA ISC Committee Report

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC) Chairperson Aaron Hamberger sent the following report to the May RIRA Common Council.


The ISC met on 4/21/14 with 5 members present.

Manhattan Tram Elevator ‐ We continue to experience break‐downs of the elevator. At most times the red lift is still working. In April, RIOC issued a RFP for the new elevator. It’s expected that the project will take at least one year to complete. So, we won’t have a new elevator until at least spring, 2015. Meanwhile, ISC will continue to pressure RIOC to always have personnel present to operate the red lift.

Garden Club – The new land use permit issued in April to the Garden Club specifically requires that all plots must be assigned to RI residents only.

This is one of our two major goals in providing more opportunities for residents to garden. Non‐residents will be removed from the waiting list and existing plots occupied by non‐residents will be “grandfathered” until such time as the non‐resident stops gardening. About 15% of the plots are used by non‐residents.

Tram Gate At RI Station – We’ve made little progress in resolving the issue of providing quick access to the Tram by strollers, the disabled and bikers. For a variety of reasons (including cost), RIOC has not accepted any of ISC’s suggestions on how to improve the situation. Instead of dealing with Charlene Indelicato, we will try working with Cy Opperman, RIOC Director of Transportation. We are hopeful Cy will be more receptive and aggressive in solving the gate issue.

Boy Scouts – We are making slow but steady progress in our attempt to re‐establish a Boy Scout troop on RI. Frank Farance reports that one or two potential leaders have been identified. An organizational meeting is planned for June.

Condition of Sportspark Facilities ‐ Many users of Sportspark are unsatisfied with the condition of some of the facilities and operations at Sportspark. Some of the key concerns are sanitary conditions are poor, the time for opening the pool is erratic and water temperatures need to be better controlled.

Blackwell Park Playground –Parents seem satisfied with the additional toddler equipment and signs recently installed at the playground.

July 4th Fireworks – Macy’s fireworks will return to the East River this summer. However, there is uncertainty about access to both Southpoint Park and the FDR Conservancy Park for the public to view the spectacle. ISC has contacted both RIOC and the FDR Conservancy to find out what plans, if any, each organization has to handle this event. Both organizations are “studying” the issue and have no definite plans at present. They have concerns about viewing conditions from RI. The fireworks display will be moved downriver from where it previously was. So, the view from RI might be blocked
Here's Mr. Hamburger's report and statement from RIRA Common Council Member Janet Falk objecting to current non residents being allowed to keep a Community Garden Plot for more than this coming year.

Will have more on the Roosevelt Island Community Garden Club
in upcoming post.


YetAnotherRIer said...

Frank, just leave the RIRA. You'll live a much healthier life if you do so.

Romano Reid said...

I believe Don Lewis was very unabiguous when he stated that any funds given to RIRA would have "restrictions". According to Sherie - the funds were "unrestricted".