Tuesday, June 25, 2019

10 Roosevelt Island Non Profit Organizations To Receive Share Of $150 Thousand In RIOC Public Purpose Funds - RIOC Board Of Directors Voting Today On RIRA Recommendations, Check Out Who Got What

Among the items on agenda for today's Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting is:

8. Authorization of Expenditure of the Public Purpose Funds for Fiscal Year 2019-20 (Board
Action Required)
Below is June 18 RIOC memo in support of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) recommendations for allocating $150 thousand in Public Purpose Funds to 10 Roosevelt Island non-profit organizations.
Attached please find the Roosevelt Island Resident Association (“RIRA”) recommended Public Purpose Grant awards for the fiscal year 2019‐20. RIRA conducted evaluations through its Public Purpose Funds Committee (“Committee”). The Committee took into account information in the applications, as well as information provided by each applicant at a public interview session. The Committee also considered the extent to which the program or project demonstrated benefits to the community, as well as whether the applicant would be able to carry out their proposed project if Public Purpose Funds were awarded.

The table below summarizes the committee’s recommendations:

Based upon the foregoing, I recommend the Board’s approval of Public Purpose Grants along the lines and purposes reflected in RIRA’s recommendations.
and the RIRA recommendations rationale summary for each non-profit organization:
The RIRA Common Council’s PPF Committee reviewed the RIOC-provided applications of ten Island 501c(3) organizations seeking funds for their respective programs. The Common Council approved the attached report during the week of June 10th, 2019.

Voting for PPF Recommendations Approved

Yes 15

No 0

Abstentions 2

Not Voting for Cause 5

No response 4

We continue to hope that future funds availed will be at or close to three percent of the RIOC operating budget as allowed in NY legislation and approved by Governor Cuomo . As evidenced by this and prior reports, qualified Island 501c non-profits continue to lack funds sufficient to fully meet their goals beneficial to the Island.

Please note that the PPF Committee has made a special recommendation for the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association.

It is with pleasure that we provide you the funding recommendations for your review and approval.
Further, we thank RIOC for its continued support to the community and for allowing the RIRA-Common Council to provide inputs to the PPF process.

Warm regards,

Dave Evans PPF Committee Chair
Members: Erin Feely-Nahem, Shirley Coley, Enequea Lewis)

Lynne Shinozaki
President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association

Roosevelt Island Residents Association – Common Council

FY 2019 – 2020 Summary of Public Purpose Fund (PPF) Committee Funding Recommendations Date Committee Finalized (June 5, 2019)/RIRA/Common Council Approved – June !3, 2019

PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

Amount Requested: $31,550 (Prior $33,500)

Amount Recommended: $13,000 (Prior $15,500)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: Funds are only for: (1) primarily the Middle School Enrichment Residency (Salvadori Center) for 6th/7th grade students and (2) some support for the Hawks wrestling team.

The PTA remains an active supporter of PS-IS/217. The PPF Committee believes that in order to retain students in the middle school, additional enhancements are required. The Salvadori Center adds value, especially the focus on 6th and 7th grade students. The goal is aimed at enhancing their understanding of mathematics concepts through hands-on project based learning. This will be valuable to these students as they transition to the next grade levels. Further, the fact of the Hawks wrestling program resonated with the committee. Overall, it is hoped the broad PTA fund raising efforts will help enhance the ability to retain students at the school.

Life Frames, Inc.

Amount Requested: $27,150 (Prior $27,150)

Amount Recommended: $13,500 (Prior $11,250)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: The funds recommended are to help support the continuation of the Life Frames program on the Island.

The Life Frames program has a long, noteworthy history on the Island. It avails gardening activities beneficial to children of all ages. Parental support is available, and observations confirm that many children participate in the gardening activities, often seen on a plot north of the Blackwell house. More so, as noted in its application, the program also offers gardening to adults of all ages and capabilities. Such inclusiveness is part of the mosaic fabric of life on our Roosevelt Island.

Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF)

Amount Requested: $10,000 (Prior Yr: $10000)

Amount Recommended: $10,000 (Prior Yr: $9750)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: The funds recommended are to provide help to the WFF in performing its mission, i.a., of rescuing, assisting, and rehabilitating stray animals on Roosevelt Island.

The WFF seeks to increase its capacity to help various types of stray animals on the Island. It is led by an energetic and caring individual. The animals (strays, abandoned, homeless – dogs, cats, birds, etc.) are treated as needed, some at great expense, at all hours. Some of the work effort, depending upon the situation, is coordinated with the Public Service Department led by a caring Chief and his Deputy. WFF is basically active/on call 24/7 and much appreciated on the Island.

Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)

Amount Requested: $38,000 (Prior Yr: $24,700)

Amount Recommended: $18,250 (Prior Yr: $18,750)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: To offer PPF funding to RIVAA for help with rent and/or utilities. In that regard, RIVAA will decide how to use the funds offered. The committee hopes going forward that RIOC can avail money to RIVAA/offset some of its costs, especially given the uplifting art and sculptures it brings to and displays on the Island.

The RIVAA request is for funds to help offset the rent expense and utilities expense attributed to its main gallery location on the Island. It is the view of the committee that RIVAA brings special value to the Island as evidenced by its various noticeable displays and special programs at the gallery, the motor gate garage area, and elsewhere. The committee believes the displays add value to the Island, inclusive of to RIOC. Many incorrectly believe the aforementioned loved displays are RIOC products. Again, the committee hopes going forward that RIOC can avail RIVAA money to offset some of its costs, especially given the uplifting art and sculptures it has brought to and displays on the Island.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS)

Amount Requested: $33,000 (Prior Yr: $32,000)

Amount Recommended: $16,250 (Prior Yr: $12,000)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: We appreciate and support the work of the RI residents at the Kiosk. Their employment and volunteering by/for the RIHS leader, has allowed them to welcome and educate over 60,000 visitors to our Island. All should be commended. Helping fund their employment, landscaping work, and much needed assistance to the Historian were all part of our focus when considering PPF to recommend. With the aforementioned in mind, we believe it best to leave the decision as to the use of the funds to the experienced leader of the RIHS.

Island Kids

Amount Requested: $30,000 (Prior Yr: $25,000)

Amount Recommended: $10,250 (Prior Yr: $12,750)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: Island Kids asked for funds again this year for the *Moving Forward Program*. The Committee agreed.

The Committee supports the development of services for the underserved Island young adult population. We are disappointed by the limited growth of this project. However, we understand there are challenges/obstacles to getting this vocational/educational program off the ground. Hopefully, PPF dedicated to the program will give help to the program to reach the goals brought to the committee.

Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance

Amount Requested: $32,500 (Prior Yr: $39,000)

Amount Recommended: $14,500 (Prior Yr: $29,500)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: The committee agrees to an allocation of PPF for scholarships and the teen theater program – both well appreciated by Islanders. MSTDA continues to offer broad programs that inspire, entertain, and attract attendees (young and old) from across the Island and beyond. It has made tremendous recovery from the ravages of a vicious storm a few years ago, helped greatly by the accommodations they, among others, use at the nicely restored location (Bldg 548) on the Island.


Amount Requested: $21,700 (Prior Yr: $21,700)

Amount Recommended: $11,250 (Prior Yr: $14,500)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: The program that the applicant envisions is broad, imaginative and captivating. The Committee believes it merits public purpose funding as it touches young children, teens and adults of the Island.

The applicant is a very creative, inspiring, and energetic leader and works under the Open Space Institute. The program entails a series of nature themed workshops. It includes hands-on initiatives celebrating the Island as a green sanctuary worthy of protecting.

Carter Burden Network

Amount Requested: $30,000 (Prior Yr: $21,700)

Amount Recommended: $10,000 (Prior Yr: $3,250)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: Carter Burden is making an impact and is no longer considered new on the Island. They have increased membership and are touching a broad base of all qualifying ages and with broad diversity.

The committee would like Carter Burden to review operating hours and consider offering different hours at perhaps two days of the week that extend into the evening. The intent would be to allow seniors, especially those that work, to participate in some activities after work. Of course, it could also be attractive to those not working.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)

Amount Requested: $40,000 (Prior Yr: $40,000)

Amount Recommended: $33,000 (Prior Yr: $16,750)

Committee Decision and Recommendation: The RIDA application and interview leads to a clear conclusion by the Committee – RIDA definitely needs help to obtain a bus, gently used or new. WE SUGGEST THAT ALL OF THE ALLLOCATED FUNDS BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF A NEW OR RELIABLE USED BUS.

The matter of a bus for our disabled has languished over time. From prior reports, the existing bus is relatively old. The Committee believes an effort should be undertaken NOW in order to get ahead of the curve of demise of the existing bus. The Committee has considered that there are other RIDA needs but in our view, they likely do not exceed the bus matter.

We urge the RIDA leadership to immediately form a working group (inclusive of at least a couple of Common Council members) and make this happen! We realize this endeavor potentially creates a sacrifice by other applicants, so let us just do it so we can recover to normal. Raise money! Maybe establish a GO FUND drive.
RIOC is not obligated to follow the RIRA recommendation but can change or follow them as they see fit.

We'll know later tonight what happens.

UPDATE 10:20 PM - RIOC approved the RIRA Public Purpose Funds recommendations. Here's RIOC CFO John O'Reilly's Public Purpose Funds presentation to the RIOC Board earlier this evening.