Monday, November 9, 2009

Report From RIOC'S President - Pigeon Poop, RISAR Suspension, Possible Library Re-location, Ferry Service & Other Roosevelt Island Issues Of Concern

Image Of RIOC Logo

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on RISAR Suspension, Pigeon Poop, Possible Library re-location possibility of temporary ferry service during tram outage, RIOC Board Nominees, FDR Memorial, Green Rooms/Wild Gardens, Tram Overhaul, Public Purpose Funding, Main Street Retail Consultant's report, Consultation with RIRA, various local construction projects, and other issues of concern to Roosevelt Island.
November 3, 2009

1. Board of Directors: November 5 meeting cancelled. Literally, no Board action items on the putative agenda. The nominations of Margie Smith and Mike Shinozaki to the Board and the re-nomination of Dr. Grimm are still pending confirmation by the NY State Senate. Next meeting December 10 at 4:30 PM, Town Hall to follow.
2. Southpoint:
(A) Green Rooms/Wild Gardens: The contractor continues rough grading, paths and stone walls; Phase 2 to complete the park, including finish grading, capping, and utilities, fencing and planting to follow.
(B) FDR Memorial: RIOC is working with the State and City Parks Departments on integration of funding and oversight mechanics for the $4 million State appropriation, the $4.5 million from the City and at least $8 million from FERI as necessary for Phase I. Legal work is ongoing. The Disabled Association is nearing an understanding with FERI as to location of the disabled presentation of FDR. State Parks has approved an operating and maintenance budget and is in receipt of a $2 million endowment to fund the expenses. November 4 meeting with State Commissioner Ash to discuss allocation of responsibility for implementing the plan and the mechanics of RIOC reimbursement for incurred expenses. More reported next column.
3. RISAR: Pursuant to determination of the State Department of Health and the City Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, RISAR’s authorization to conduct operations on Roosevelt Island has been terminated. A Cease & Desist Order has been issued. Until and unless it is reinstated, RISAR should NOT be called for an emergency on the Island.
4. Pigeons: All are disgusted with the pigeon deposits at the subway and anywhere else they congregate. PLEASE, do not feed the pigeons. In addition to being dirty, they are carriers of disease. Please respect your neighbors. Public Safety will issue citations for feeding the pigeons.
5. Library: We have met with the planning and program folks from the NYPL and they are enthused about the prospect of expanding into 504 Main Street. The first floor would be ideal for them, but the details of funding remain to be worked out with the City budget. Stay tuned.
6. Tram: On schedule for shutdown March 1, 2010 and reopening end of August 2010. See renderings of the proposed Tram stations on our web site. Regular monthly progress meetings with architects, engineers, POMA, expediters, City and State agencies, etc., all to move to an orderly execution of the project. Routine brake, track rope, cabins, hangers, etc. inspections are being performed.
7. Projects: Work is ongoing on many projects and others are being completed. Motorgate lighting experiments continue; resurfacing and waterproofing work await finalization of asbestos abatement plan resulting in postponing until Spring. AVAC fencing completed and enclosure work under way. Swimming pool at Sportspark is closed for repairs to be reopened by November 9. Rehabilitation of the gym (bleachers, flooring and padding), ADA compliance and installation of a fire safety system is underway. RIOC is studying solar panels for the rooftop of Motorgate with NYPA. Octagon sewer connection restoration from the water tunnel to begin, allowing reopening of the comfort station. Octagon field back in operation with natural surface, pending final conclusions about artificial surfaces. Planning for new Blackwell Park is an ongoing collective effort to incorporate various community constituencies.
8. Southtown Buildings 5 and 6 are being occupied.
9. Main Street Retail: The final consultants’ report is posted and has been made available to the blog sites and the WIRE. Much to think about.
10. Coordination with RIRA: A long list of matters of common interest is being discussed so that everyone’s input will be available. Parking, red bus scheduling, Good Shepherd Plaza, landscaping, public purpose criteria, budgeting, etc., etc.
11. Ferry: Explored temporary service at the existing pier at the meditation steps while the Tram is out next year, but underwater rock formations make spud pier infeasible. Now reviewing the old oil dock on the east channel behind the steam plant. Subject to engineering clearance, approvals from the Coast Guard, and if there is sufficient ridership interest based on surveys for a service to 32nd Street and maybe on down to Wall Street during rush hours, with a business plan which RIOC would have to subsidize to some level (to be determined, subject to Board approval, but guesstimated to be approximately $100,000 for 6 months), if, if, if….Will keep everyone posted. The City’s indicated schedule for proceeding with the proposed ferry service at the Octagon is end of 2010, at best.
12. Public Purpose Fund: RIOC has completed auditing the 7 awardees from the 2009 award cycle as to both financial and performance results. The information will be made available in the review and selection process. For interested parties for the 2010/11 cycle, see the RIOC website. RIRA will again be asked to give recommendations and the ultimate funding decisions will be made by the Board to be included in the next RIOC budget.
13. Blackwell Park: Community planning is ongoing, with several divergent views presented. Group meetings involving many stakeholders will surface opinions of different perspectives.
14. Red Buses: With an accelerated delivery schedule, two new Hybrid Buses are delivered and should be integrated into the fleet and on the street by next week. Look for Numbers 5 and 6.
15. Halloween: A happy, peaceful holiday was enjoyed on the Island. Especially the small ghosts and goblins.
This message was also published as the RIOC column in the 11/7/09 Main Street WIRE.


Anonymous said...

The Repuglicuns in the state senate blocked a law requiring removing asbestos before a new tenant or owner moved in. If he Democrats want to stay in office thye should enact this!