Dave Evans, longtime public purpose-fund committee chair, presented a summary of the committee’s findings at Wednesday evening’s Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) meeting, including their monetary recommendations, to the full RIRA board. He confirmed that all applicants received some portion of what they requested. He also expressed his hope that the increase to $150,000 is a step closer to what is allowed by law, i.e. 3% of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s operating budget.
The only discussion was about the disbursement to the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association which requested funding for heating and cooling their space. Evans said, “That issue is more complicated than it seems.” He said that after last year when the debate about their award became very heated; the committee did some research to ascertain the sense in RIVAA using RIOC funds to effectively pay RIOC expenses related to their lease.
Dave Evans presents his committee's recommendations to the RIRA common council
Evans said “We’ve evolved in this process with how we deal with RIVAA,” affirming that neither Rivercross, the building they’re in, nor Hudson Related, their lessor, pays for their heating and cooling, and that they are responsible for it. These funding recommendations will be voted on by the RIOC board at their December 13 meeting.
The awards are:
The PS/IS 217 Parent Teacher Association requested $33,500 and the committee recommendation is $15,500. Their disbursement is for the Salvadori Center program that will serve middle-schoolers. The school had also requested funding for the Music Together program, taught by Islanders Owen and Bridget Johnson, to serve their large pre-K and kindergarten population.
Life Frames requested $27,150 and the recommendation is $11,250. Like last year, the funds are intended to help cover the nature teacher’s salary.
The Wildlife Freedom Foundation came closest to their goal. They requested $10,000 and the recommendation is $9,750. The funding is intended to to help the WFF in achieving its mission of rescuing, assisting, and rehabilitating stray animals on Roosevelt Island.
The Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association requested $24,700 and the recommendation is $18,700. The committee specified that the funding should support ensuring an operable heating and cooling (HVAC) system.
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society requested $31,000 and their proposed award is $18,000. According to the committee, the funds are not to be used for any programming related to Cornell Tech, but otherwise can be used as the director deems appropriate.
Island Kids requested $25,000 to assist with scholarships for the overflow of students they are providing service for, who did not get spots in the Beacon program, along with their Moving Forward program for young adults. Their award is $12,750.
Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance received the largest amount of funding, $29,500, of therequested $39,000. The funds are to support scholarships, a summer musical theater camp, and some limited community outreach – all to promote broad diversity – the committee’s goal is to ensure access to groups underrepresented in their programming.
Carter Burden Network received the smallest award, $3,250, probably due to their infrastructure, which is very robust compared to all of the other groups. They had requested $20,000. The money is to be used to fund an instructor.
iDig2Learn received a recommendation of $14,500 and had requested $21,700. The money is to pay a manager or visiting contractors for uses relevant to the needs of the applicant.
The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association requested $20,000 and the Council voted to recommend $16,750. The funding is intended to support trips and other activities as determined by the director. The committee also hopes RIDA will look into ways to upgrade their current means of transportation.