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Mar 11, 2019 9:59 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Arts Funding Secured By Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming
Mar 11, 2019 11:10 AM

February 13 was a busy day for Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and a good one for East End arts organizations. That’s because adopted at the general meeting of the legislature that day was Introductory Resolution 1011-2019, an amendment to the county’s 2019 operating budget which transfers funds to cultural organizations in the region.

The funds will be allocated from revenue generated by the Hotel/Motel tax, nearly 40 percent of which is generated in East Hampton and Southampton towns. Historically, cultural arts funding allocations occur through a legislative amendment after the County Executive files his proposed budget.

But for various reasons, the amendment failed during this cycle, which is why at the February 13 meeting, the legislature passed a newly proposed amendment to restore negotiated funding to these cultural organizations.

Legislator Fleming made the request in order to ensure that tax revenue generated in the second district returns to the East End. As a result, cultural arts organizations will receive county grants to support their work and with over a quarter of a million dollars benefiting 29 cultural arts and historical organizations on the South Fork.

“After much discussion, we are pleased we were able to negotiate consistent, and in some cases increased, funding from prior years to each of the organizations,” said Legislator Fleming in a statement. “The cultural arts are a driver of our local economy, and when tourists visit our world-class arts and historic institutions they visit our hotels, restaurants, and shops as well. I greatly appreciate how critically important it is to support the local cultural organizations of the South Fork. They are an integral part of our tourism-based economy.”

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