Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Applicant Presentations Start Friday October 9 - But NY State Authorities Budget Office Says No Change In Policy Guidance Prohibiting Practice

Image From RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC);
Please be advised that the 2015 Public Purpose Grant Community Review Process for applicant proposed programs and projects will be conducted at the Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street, beginning next Friday, October 9th. The presentations are open to the public and will be an opportunity to learn more about the programs and projects from community groups who are seeking funding. At the conclusion of each presentation, time will be reserved for questions and answers by public attendees and members of the Roosevelt Island Resident Association’s Public Purpose Grant Committee.

Below is the schedule of applicant presentations:

October 9th

8 PM – 8:30 PM: Roosevelt Island Seniors Association

8:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Roosevelt Island Youth Program (IDig2Learn)

9:00 PM– 9:30 PM: Roosevelt Island Disabled Association

October 13th

8 PM– 8:30 PM: Life Frames

8:30 PM – 9:00 PM: PS/IS 217 PTA

9:00 PM– 9:30 PM: RIVAA

October 14th

8 PM– 8:30 PM: Island Kids

8:30 PM– 9:00 PM: Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance

9:00 PM- 9:30 PM: Roosevelt Island Historical Society

For more information, please call 212-832-4540. General concerns about grant funds and applicants should be directed to Sean Singh at, with a copy to David Evans,
A spokesperson for Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright adds:
The Governor has released Roosevelt Island’s Public Purpose Funds for this year. Assembly Member Seawright’s legislation clarifying RIOC’s ability to distribute Public Purpose Funds in the future has been packaged and sent to Albany for the Governor’s signature
As reported last February:
...2015 RIOC Public Purpose Funds distribution is in jeopardy due to this January 13 NY State Authorities Budget Office Policy Guidance stating:

... All state and local authorities which, as a matter of practice or policy, grant or loan their monies to such entities without specific legislative authorization are directed to immediately end such practice or policy so as to comply with applicable state law and the opinions of the State Attorney General and State Comptroller...
Apparently, there is no specific legislative authorization for RIOC to  grant Public Purpose Funds....
On October 2,  Roosevelt Island resident Helen Chirivas asked the NY State Authorities Budget Office:
Has there been an exception made to ABO guidance 15-01 with respect to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (“RIOC”)?   

Earlier today, I received a RIOC announcement by phone that Public Purpose Funding (“PPF”) application presentations will be held on October 9, 13, and 14 from 8-10 PM at the Good Shepherd Chapel on Roosevelt Island.   The Public Purpose Funding process in prior years enabled RIOC to distribute funds to non-profits on RI; the process was suspended this year because of the explicit restrictions on a State agency distributing funding to non-profits contained in the ABO guidance.

Legislation SS Serrano/ASM Seawright prepared that would have exempted RIOC from the ABO guidance was passed by the Senate and Assembly but never signed by Governor Cuomo. 

Has there been some other development that exempts RIOC from the restrictions on funding as set forth in the above-referenced ABO guidance?  Has the ABO issued a new/updated guidance or specific statement that exempts RIOC from the restrictions?   If not, would you have any comments on RIOC proceeding with the distribution of funds despite ABO guidance 15-01? 
The Authorities Budget Office replied October 5 to Ms. Chirivas stating:
There have been no exceptions or changes made to ABO policy guidance 15-01 for any public authority. We suggest you contact your local legislator to find out the current status of the bill you reference below.
Well, that's confusing.
Public Purpose Funds is on the Agenda for tonight's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting.

Will update when more information available..