A draft list of local charities that could become beneficiaries of a donation from the MTK: Music to Know festival was discussed by the East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday.
In return for issuing a mass-gathering permit to organizers of the two-day concert, to be held at the East Hampton Airport on Aug. 13 and 14, town officials extracted a promise that a donation of $100,000 be made even before profits from the event are tallied.
The deal, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson has said a number of times, is the kind of public-private partnership needed in the wake of a fiscal crisis that has prompted East Hampton Town to eliminate some grants that used to be made to nonprofit community groups.
The proposed list of recipients submitted to the town board is still being reviewed, but board members agreed this week on several changes. A proposed $15,000 donation to the East Hampton Day Care and Learning Center will likely be increased to $20,000, and the East Hampton Food Pantry, which runs both an East Hampton and a satellite Amagansett site, was added to the list. (Donations of from $1,000 to $3,000 were proposed to the food pantries in Montauk, Springs, Sag Harbor, and Wainscott.)
“I think this should be local, local, local — this is about East Hampton,” said Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley.
The draft list includes $20,000 for the Retreat, $12,000 to Project MOST, and $3,000 for East End Hospice. Other proposed donations include $5,000 to Katy’s Courage, a scholarship fund memorializing a Sag Harbor student, $2,000 to a fund for restoring the historic Amagansett Life Saving Station, and $5,000 for the Joseph J. Theinert Foundation, established in memory of a soldier from Shelter Island. The Child Development Center of the Hamptons, the Bay Street Theatre, the Montauk Playhouse, and the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (a neighbor of the airport festival site) would all receive $1,000, according to the proposal. The list also sets aside $3,000 as a contingency for late additions.
Three $1,000 gifts to the music programs at the Montauk, Sag Harbor, and East Hampton schools should be eliminated from the MTK list, the town board members agreed, as the school districts are funded by taxpayer dollars. For a similar reason, Ms. Quigley questioned whether the East Hampton Library, to which a $2,000 contribution had been proposed, should be included.
Ms. Quigley also questioned whether Phoenix House, a nationwide substance-abuse treatment organization — which she said “has a budget of some $20 million” — should receive any of the money. Town Councilwoman Julia Prince and Councilman Dominick Stanzione disagreed. In East Hampton, Phoenix House not only has a residential treatment center but provides outpatient services to residents, and that program relies on a separate budget, Mr. Stanzione said. Ms. Prince pointed out that sentences handed down in town justice court often mandate treatment at Phoenix House. “We have an institutional relationship with them,” Mr. Stanzione said.
Ms. Prince suggested adding a $500 grant to Music for Montauk, and removing $1,000 grants to the Children’s Museum of the East End and Wings Over Haiti, a group founded by a Sag Harbor resident to help victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Board members agreed that a donation to a fund for homeless veterans established by J.J. Kremm, a town employee, should be included. A donation to fund the town youth court and a contribution to Maureen’s Haven, an East End homeless assistance group, were also suggested. Margaret Turner, an audience member at the meeting, suggested a grant to Elsa’s Ark, an animal rescue group.
Revisions to the list will be considered and finalized at a future board meeting. In addition to the $100,000 charitable donation, the MTK: Music to Know Festival is to pay $45,000 rent to the town for use of runway 4-22 at the airport.