For those of you who couldn’t make the 5:30 p.m. Board meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (because, um, jobs), here’s what you need to know:
1. The Tram: Good news...mostly
As of Monday, both Tram cars are running! That’s a huge relief for Islanders who have seen hour-long lines at times while RIOC repaired and waterproofed the platforms on both sides. However, the repairs aren’t entirely done. The Tram will need to be reduced to one cabin again for two to three weeks in the Spring to complete the job.
2. More Funds for Island Nonprofits
RIOC Board of Directors approved its 2017-2018 Public Purpose Fund (PPF) grants, totaling $100,000, for nine Island nonprofits. The board accepted the recommendations offered by RIRA’s PPF committee earlier this month. What’s more, the 2018-2019 budget, which was also approved last night, increases the pot for next year’s PPF grants to $150,000.
3. Better Cell Service Coming
The Board approved a 10-year license with Crown Castle to install 23 mini cell towers (which will be attached to light posts) around the Island. The goal is to provide better cellular coverage.
4. Youth Center Still in Standby Mode
The new operator contract for the Roosevelt Island Youth Center will be announced at the Board’s January 25 meeting. In the meantime, the Board voted to give current operator, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, $50,000 to continue operating through March.
5. Construction and Maintenance
Construction on Riverwalk Building 8 is expected to begin in March. The project will require moving the southern dog run northward to Blackwell park for three years. A contractor will also soon begin replacing all of the sea railings around the Island.
6. Ruin Stabilization
The Parks Department awarded RIOC a $500,000 grant to start the the Smallpox Hospital stabilization process. Susan Rosenthal said that the full cost to stabilize the ruin located in Southpoint Park will run $24-25 million.
7. Slowing It Down
In response to complaints about speeding vehicles at the southern and northern ends of the Island, the Public Safety Department will be testing radar equipment at two locations to see if it impacts the issue. Read F. Scott Piro’s article on dangerous traffic issues around the Octagon.
8. A Second Look
Be on the lookout for Hudson Related's full-size mockup of the large, red R I letters it would like to install by the Tram. They will be back sometime in January for a second viewing so RIOC can gather public opinion.
Quote of the Night
“They are negotiating their brains out.”
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal in response to a request for an update on the Westview privatization plan which has been stalled for some time.