Rep. Maloney & Roosevelt Islanders Seek Federal Funding for Seawall
Roosevelt Island, NY – On Monday, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York’s 14th Congressional District joined with Stephen H. Shane, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC); City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin; and local community leaders Matthew Katz, Sheri Helstien, Margie Smith, and Micah Kellner to announce an effort to secure $10 million to rehabilitate, restore, and partially replace the aging Roosevelt Island Seawall. The announcement was made in Lighthouse Park near the northern tip of Roosevelt Island, near a section of the Seawall that was badly damaged when it was struck by a barge just over two years ago.
“Everyone knows that good fences make good neighbors,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Roosevelt Islanders know that's especially true when it comes to their ‘fence’– the Roosevelt Island Seawall. It’s the Seawall that makes it possible for Island residents to enjoy the unique beauty and serenity of this very special place without being literally engulfed by our neighbor – the East River. Unfortunately, we need to engage in a little fence-mending. And that's why we're seeking to secure $10 million in Federal funds to repair, rehabilitate and – where necessary – replace the Seawall.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees that work is needed on both the south and north ends of the Roosevelt Island Seawall. We need government support to truly renovate the Seawall and ensure its soundness for years to come.”
Congresswoman Maloney expressed her thanks to local community leaders for bringing the need for government funding for the Roosevelt Island Seawall to my attention. She specifically cited those accompanying her to today’s announcement, including:
• Matthew Katz, President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA);
• Sheri Helstien, Secretary of RIRA;
• Margie Smith, RIRA’s Chair of Government Relations;
• and Micah Kellner, Democratic State Committeeman for Roosevelt Island.
Representative Maloney was especially effusive in expressing her gratitude to Steve Shane, the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, for responding to her request to submit the application for Federal funding and putting together RIOC's application together in twenty-four hours.
“When my office brought this to RIOC's attention, the new RIOC management turned around this application in a single day. Those of us familiar with government agencies can tell you that that kind of rapid response is the bureaucratic equivalent of breaking the speed of sound!” said Congresswoman Maloney.
Representative Maloney has been a vigorous and effective advocate for her constituents on Roosevelt Island since her election to Congress. In 2002, she worked with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to help secure a $250,000 matching grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation to repair and restore one of the Island’s notable landmarks, Blackwell House. After the subway station was built on Roosevelt Island, Rep. Maloney secured $700,000 in federal highway funds to install surveillance cameras in the station to provide better security. Congresswoman Maloney has also consistently been involved with a range of issues affecting Roosevelt Island, including fighting for better policing and successfully fighting for the reopening of the Tramway following suggestions from some quarters in the wake of the April 2006 breakdown in service that it be mothballed in perpetuity. She continues to work closely with her fellow elected officials representing Roosevelt Island to present a forceful and united voice for its residents.