PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester has established a new policy that says the village will only co-sponsor five events, such as parades and cultural festivals, per year.
The new policy will apply to events hosted by community organizations, and will not include holiday events such as Columbus Day and Veterans Day parades.
The idea for the new policy came about earlier this summer when the Village Board agreed to co-sponsor a multicultural festival for the Caring and Loving Foundation and a parade for Centro Cultural Bolivia. Several board members were concerned that the approvals would open the floodgate for more organizations to come to the village asking for money and services for their events. Mayor Neil Pagano said that when it comes time to draw up the next budget, the village might have to limit how many events it can co-sponsor, which would be easier if a policy was in place.
Under the new policy, the village will co-sponsor five events hosted by nonprofits that serve Port Chester residents. Each event the village co-sponsors will receive up to $1,000.
"Whether it's cash, whether it's in-kind services, it's really the fact that we need to have a public purpose for the money, and we just can't give money to anybody unless we have a valid reason for it," said Village Attorney Tony Cerreto. "We always have to talk about things in terms of serving a broader purpose."
Another legal factor involved is that once the village agrees to co-sponsor an event, it becomes liable. "We have to be very careful about how we give out co-sponsorship out, because there's liability. No matter what we do, when we put our name in front of something, our deep pocket is right there," Cerreto said.
The events would be selected on first-come, first-serve basis. In order to be considered for co-sponsorship, the applicant must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been established for more than two years.
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