Thursday, February 25, 2010

Report From RIOC's President - Tram Shutdown March 1, Red Bus Shuttle Schedule, Budget, Grog Shop & Other Roosevelt Island Issues

You Tube Video Of Cable To The Sky (Jackson Hole Tram Replacement)

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on:
  • new RIOC Board Nominees,
  • March 1 Tram shutdown,
  • Red Bus Shuttle schedule during Tram Outage,
  • Southpoint Park, FDR Memorial,
  • Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp problem,
  • Artificial surface for Octagon Playing Field,
  • Public Purpose Fund process,
  • RIOC 2010 -11 Budget,
  • Blackwell Park Master Plan,
  • Motorgate Credit Card usage,
  • Mitchell Lama Privatizations,
  • Grog Liquor Shop Tax seizure and
  • upcoming future events.
February 25, 2010

1. Board of Directors: Next meeting on March 25 at 9:30 AM. The last meeting on February 18 featured RIOC’s newly seated Directors Margie Smith and Mike Shinozaki and the assumption of the Chair by Brian Lawlor, acting Director of Housing. Extensive discussion of the Tram shutdown, ferry service and privatization to affordable housing for the remaining WIRE buildings.

2. Tram:
A. On schedule for shutdown after this Sunday on Monday morning, March 1 at 2 AM (3 Days!!!) and reopening by September 1, 2010. The plans for crane usage, street closings (including the upper ramp of the Queensboro Bridge), permitted times, traffic control and safety precautions, all as submitted to the Departments of Buildings and Traffic have been reviewed and permits were issued this week.
B. Shuttle Red Bus service to Queens Plaza (to accommodate handicapped access) during week day morning rush hours is scheduled, starting at 7:00 AM, running until 9:30 AM, operating every half hour, departing from the west side of East main Street outside the Riverwalk Bar on the hour and half hour, Senior Center (546 Main) 5 minutes later and across from PS 217 five minutes later. Shuttle bus service into Manhattan will operate on the hour starting at 10 AM, same pick-ups, returning from Manhattan on the half hour. Passenger drop off will be in front of PS 217, Good Shepherd and Riverwalk Bar. The Manhattan stop is the west side of 2nd Avenue, at the northerly end of the 59-58th Street block. No shuttle into Manhattan during afternoon rush hours 3PM-6 PM EXCEPT there will be one bus into Manhattan departing the Island at 3:30 PM and picking up in Manhattan at 4 PM to accommodate returning school children. Resumption of hourly service into Manhattan at 7 PM and returning until 11:30 PM. Weekends, shuttle service into Manhattan starting at 10 AM, hourly throughout the day until 11:00 PM, same pick-ups, returning on the half-hour with the last at 11:30 PM. See the schedules posted on RIOC’s web site and on in the posters throughout the Island. Note that if the F train is not in service, the frequency into and out of Manhattan will be increased to every half hour. Fares will be $1.00, with Seniors, Disabled and Children (5-16) at $.50. The MTA will continue to operate the Q 102 bus on the Island on its published schedule. Starting in April, there will be a route change to eliminate the alternating loops to Coler and Goldwater for those who would use the Q 102 and its transfer into the Metrocard system. Regular Red Bus service will continue on the Island, but because of the increased construction activity at the Tram site and the elimination of the Tram stop during the outage, all regular Red Bus service will run a continuous loop southbound along the East Drive, stopping at Riverwalk Bar, then looping around to the front of the subway station to resume a northbound run. Those that want to disembark for the subway at Riverwalk Bar may do so; those who want to ride around to the subway may stay on a stop and do so. All southbound buses, including the Octagon Express will make a stop at PS 217 for those wanting to board a bus at the Q102 stop.
C. Exploration of possible ferry service during the morning rush hour concluded with the Board’s consideration and conclusion that it was not economically appropriate. Sic transit (? LOL).

3. Southpoint-FDR Memorial: Legal work on NYC Funding and Development agreements continues. Construction is likely to start in the Spring, after execution of final documents by the City, RIOC and the Developer. We met with State Parks to discuss methodology for future maintenance. Whether State Parks contracts with RIOC or does the work itself is being considered by State Parks. RIOC has budgeted out the performance specification and will be revenue/expense neutral whichever way is finally determined. A $2 million endowment was received by State Parks. The Governor’s proposed Budget contains the re-appropriation of $4 Million of State funds.

4. Projects:
A. The contract for engineering study of the status of the helix leading to the Island from the Bridge is let and work is underway.
B. Octagon Soccer Field resurfacing: Approved by the Board on January 14th, contract execution and commencement of work are imminent with the melting of snow.
C. AVAC, Sportspark, fiber optic cabling, Good Shepherd HVAC, Octagon sewer, street lighting, tot lot improvements, etc. all keep engineering very busy.

5. Public Purpose Fund: Seven (7) applications for the 2010/11 cycle were submitted. Completed applications were delivered to RIRA for review and recommendation to the Board in time for consideration at the March meeting.

6. Budget: The proposed 2010/11 Budget has been published and posted on RIOC’s web site for public review and comment before formal presentation to the Board for adoption, as it may be amended, at the March meeting. RIRA and other interested parties are welcome to review, comment and raise questions as part of the process. We have tried to set forth the detail of the assumptions that are part of the exercise and have made the projections for 15 years, subject to the inevitable infirmities of far off estimates. Both operating and capital budgets have been set forth. We made a presentation to RIRA. The Audit & Finance Committee of the Board is holding a meeting at 5:30PM on February 25 to examine and discuss the proposed budget. The WIRE published its synopsis of the Budget in the February 13 edition at page 10, but please note that in the 3rd line from the bottom, the variance in income from the 2009/10 budget is a positive (not negative) $304,584 or a positive (not negative) 16.6%. Also, to make clearer, the note as to the Projected Actual revenues for 2009/10 being increased by the one-time payment in lieu of mortgage recording tax for the Octagon, should be repeated as a similar note to attach to the comparative reduction in percentage revenues for the 2010/11 budget both in the first line, last column and the 3rd line from the bottom, last column.

7. Blackwell Park: Community participation in the planning process continues, with a “less is more” conclusion. Other features desired are set forth in the resolution from RIRA. Good job by all.

8. Credit cards use at Motorgate: As soon as the mechanics of establishing a local bank account and entering into a credit card processing agreement are accomplished, transient parkers will be able to use credit cards to pay the parking charges at Motorgate. Soon, we hope.

9. Privatization of Mitchell-Lamas: With the extensive discussion and debate at the Board meeting to express the sense of the Board for ground lease extensions, RIOC has taken a step forward in preserving the long term affordability of the portion of the housing on the Island represented by Rivercross, Island House and Westview. Much work and many details remain to be resolved with the other governmental agencies who are stakeholders in Roosevelt Island. Stay tuned for developments.

10. Grog Shop: Sadly, completely outside of the ability of RIOC to influence the outcome, the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance has shuttered the Grog Shop for non payment of franchise and sales taxes. Until the matter is resolved, RIOC has no access to the premises and unless quickly resolved, will have no alternative to commencing legal proceedings to terminate the lease and recover possession, a typically long and expensive litigation process. We are well aware of the loss of an important service establishment and will do everything possible to facilitate a favorable resolution for the Island residents.

11. Community Events: Upcoming are the following:
A. Black History Month-Saturday February 27 at 8pm Good Shepherd Community Center. This year's celebration, in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Senior Association, will take you on a musical journey through the evolution of Motown Records. A unique era of music that transformed the face of popular culture against the backdrop of a revolutionary era in American history. Listen to classic Motown hits played by the "Pocket Change Band". Immediately following the show, there will be a reception inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to sample Soul Food prepared by Riverwalk Bar and Grill and meet the artists and performers of the program.
B. Women's History Month -A Celebration of Women Composers-Saturday, March 13th at 7:30pm Good Shepherd Community Center. An educational musical program led by the all women chamber ensemble, L'Ensemble highlights women composers both historically and present day. Reception immediately following the show inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to meet the artists and performers of the program.
C. Easter Egg Dying-Saturday March 27th, 2pm-4pm on Riverwalk Lawn.
Come out and dye eggs for the upcoming community Easter Egg Hunt. All Ages welcome. In case of rain, we will meet at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill (425 Main Street).
D. Easter Egg Hunt-Sunday, March 28th, 1:30pm- Ages 2-4; 2:30pm- Ages 5-12;
At Blackwell Park-In association with Riverwalk Bar and Grill.

Whatever your interest, come on out and participate.

Finally, no matter the snow and deluge, spring is coming.
This message also published as the RIOC column in the 2/27/10 Main Street WIRE.


mushr00m said...

If the F train is out of service, frequency will be increased to every half-hour? Are they serious?