Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Presentations By Community Organizations - Watch And Learn About iDig2Learn, Disabled Association, A Living Library, PS/IS 217 PTA, Gallery RIVAA, Island Kids, Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance, Historical Society & Seniors Center

Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee Chair Dave Evans reports the following Roosevelt Island organizations applied for Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) 2015 Public Purpose Funds and the amounts they are seeking out of a total of approximately $100 thousand (amount distributed in prior years) available from RIOC. According to Mr. Evans:
Island Kids - $20,000

Life Frames A Living Library - - $19,990

Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) - $35,000

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA - $32000

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)- $11,400

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) - $24,700

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) - $20,000

IDIG2LEARN - $15, 000

Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)- $42,500

The Committee has completed the community presentations and is now evaluating the candidates. Our target is to complete our report so to give it to the Common Council for approval in November en route to RIOC.
The RIRA PPF Committee (in addition to Mr. Evans, PPF Committee members are Eva Bosbach and Erin Feeley-Nahem) will submit its recommendations to the November 4 RIRA Common Council meeting for approval. According to the RIRA PPF Committee:
This Ad Hoc Committee was established as part of a RIRA Common Council community service effort to assist the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) in the review of grant applications submitted by Island-based nonprofits for Public Purpose Funds (PPF). The activities of this Committee have evolved over time. The Committee makes a recommendation to RIOC and the RIOC Board of Directors is the final decision-maker regarding the distribution of funds that support qualified Island nonprofit organizations. The Committee recommends funds that would benefit Roosevelt Island residents, enhancing their quality of life through, for example, education, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health and activity and a better environment.

Public Purpose Funds first became available after the construction of Manhattan Park in 1989, when New York State (NYS) allowed the fund to be established in lieu of the commercial developers paying sales tax on construction materials.

The PPF program was placed on hold in February 2015 pending RIOC clarification of a ruling by the NYS Authorities Budgeting Office. Given the dynamics of various circumstances surrounding the matter of the these funds and the recent outcome, the PPF Committee was allowed to re-start its efforts. As of October 2015 , the Committee is evaluating applications from nine Island nonprofits. Once the Committee completes the evaluation phase, the RIRA Common Council will review their findings and recommendations. Subsequently, an approved PPF Committee report will be submitted to RIOC and its Board for a final decision.

To learn more about the Public Purpose Funds, please see
According to the RIOC PPF Guidelines:
.... Final recommendations provided by RIRA will be presented by RIOC staff to the RIOC Board for its approval....
... RIOC does not guarantee that any or all PPF approved by the Board will be awarded in the full amount originally requested by the applicant. Given budget constraints, RIOC strives to leverage limited resources while providing the best possible mix of support to approved organizations....
The 2015 RIOC Public Purpose Funds distribution has been the subject of great controversy. As reported last February:
.... the 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.
A spokesperson for Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reported October 7:
... 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...
Ms Seawright told the crowd at the October 31 Roosevelt Island Halloween Extravaganza that the 2015 Public Purpose Funds have been released and that a bill she passed (with State Senator Jose Serrano) providing for future Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds is waiting for signature by Governor Cuomo.

More on the 2015 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds controversy at this prior post.

Below are the presentations by Roosevelt Island organizations to the RIRA PPF Committee seeking PPF funds. Watch the videos. You can learn what programs and services these organization are providing to the Roosevelt Island community.

October 9 Presentation by iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico on behalf of Roosevelt Island Youth Program (Seeking $15,000).

October 9 Presentation by Jim Bates, President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (Seeking $11,400).

Part 1 - RIDA Presentation.

Part 2 - RIDA Questions and Answers

October 13 Presentation by Life Frames A Living Library with Roosevelt Island Branch of NY Public Library (Seeking $19,990)

Presentation by PS/IS 217 PTA (Seeking $32,000)

October 13 Presentation by Gallery RIVAA's Tad Sudol (Seeking $42,500)

October 14 Presentation by Island Kids. (Seeking  $20,000 For Summer Camp Scholarships)

October 14 Presentation by John Dougherty, Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (Seeking $35,000)

October 14 Presentation by Judy Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (Seeking $24,700)

October 14 Presentation by Rema Townsend Director of Roosevelt Island Seniors Center (Seeking $20,000)

The RIRA PPF committee recommendations will be discussed at the November 4 RIRA Common Council meeting held 8 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). If approved, they will be forwarded to RIOC for final approval.