Wednesday, August 5, 2020

It's Summer, It's Very Hot And Roosevelt Island Water Fountains Have Not Worked Since 2018. Why? RIOC Gives An Update - In The Meantime, How About Turning On RI FDNY Hydrant With Sprinkler Cap?

It's summer, it's hot and the Roosevelt Island water fountains have been shut down by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for 2 years. Initially, the fountains were shut down due to water contamination safety concerns discovered by community activist Frank Farance in summer of 2018.

  Image From Frank Farance

In the summer of 2019, we learned RIOC could not fix the water fountains due to an inability to find a qualified contractor who complies with Minority and Women Business Owned Enterprise (MWBE) regulations.

I asked RIOC Acting President Shelton Haynes:
The Roosevelt Island water fountains were shut down in 2018 for contamination safety reasons and still remain shut down.

The last we heard from RIOC on this subject was in August 2019.

Any update on Roosevelt Island water fountains - when will they be turned on?

Will any Roosevelt Island water sprinklers be turned on this year. The temperature's been in the Upper 90's recently. Roosevelt Island kids and others would enjoy be cooled off in a water sprinkler. Why are they not on?

Also, could FDNY hydrants on Roosevelt Island be turned on with sprinkler caps?
RIOC Director Of Communications & Community Affairs Erica Spencer-El answered:
We are actively addressing the water fountains throughout the island and understand the needs during the summer. Below is a brief update on where we are:
  • Southpoint Park- The water fountain at the Southpoint Park comfort station is scheduled to open later this week. The Backflow project that we issued an RFP for last fall, was cancelled because we could not obtain a waiver approved for MWBE participation. The current plan is to include the water fountain fix inside other upcoming projects.
  • Blackwell Park- will be repaired along with the contract for the paver replacements, which we anticipate will commence early next year.
  • Lighthouse Park- we are currently working with the project designers for the Nellie Bly project to finalize the project timeline, which is scheduled to begin next spring. The fountain repair at this location will coincide with this project and we anticipate that they will be re-installed once the prep work for the Nellie Bly project is completed.
  • McManus Field- the specs for a fountain are part of the comfort station work, which will be completed this year.
  • Capobianco Field- we are in the planning stages for Capobianco Field and do not have an update at this time.
We will be opening the pool at Sportspark very soon and hope that it will serve as an alternative to help cool off residents while we work on getting the fountains back online throughout the island.