Village Board will vote on Tall Ships funding — again

The Greenport Village Board is ready for another swing at funding this summer’s Tall Ships festival.

After a motion failed in a split vote at last week’s meeting to pay $21,500 in contract payments for the event, the Village Board now plans to revisit the decision at a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor George Hubbard and Trustee Mary Bess Phillips voted last week in favor of the payments, while Trustee Doug Roberts voted against the funding, saying the Tall Ships festival’s finances needed to be better regulated.

The other two board members, Jack Martilotta and Julia Robins, abstained from the vote and had explained they voted no because they’re members of the Tall Ships committee running the event.

The payments were to go toward consulting fees, commercials and a port fee for the featured ship of the festival, the Hermione.

“Two of the trustees didn’t realize by abstaining they were casting a no vote,” Mr. Hubbard said in an interview.

Though it was unclear at the time how the failed vote would have affected the four-day event, Mr. Hubbard said the Tall Ships festival will continue. He also said a report from the Greenport Business Improvement District about its finances would be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.

Mr. Roberts has said a purported delay in the BID turning over money to the village is what led to his dissenting vote.

Greenport Village is paying for the event, but plans to be reimbursed by the BID and ticket sales.

“I spoke to [BID president] Peter Clarke personally,” Mr. Hubbard said. “They’re working on ramping up and collecting the money [that is] owed through partnerships.”

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