The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board voted today to develop a formal Charitable Contributions Program to support civic initiatives in neighboring communities, continuing Massport's history of strong local ties ands involvement.
The enhanced policy reflect the recommendations made by the Carter Commission to establish a budget for annual community contributions. Under the new policy, 2% of the Authority's average net revenue for the most recent five years will be designated for community charitable contributions annually (approximately $400,000 on average).
Civics groups must complete an application requesting Massport support for their program or event. The applications will be reviewed by the newly formed Employee Evaluation Committee, a group of Massport employees who reside in the impacted communities included in the program: East Boston, South Boston, Winthrop, Chelsea, Charlestown and Revere.
Massport's charitable contributions are generally given to scholarship and athletic programs, local social centers and civic activities within communities impacted by Massport's operations. All charitable contributions will be tallied on a monthly basis and presented to the Massport Board. Any requests for assistance for more than $5,000 in one fiscal year will require the approval of the Massport Board.
Funding for the many community programs Massport supports was in jeopardy when Massport implemented a fiscal recovery plan in response to a dramatic reduction in airline travel and revenue. While Massport continues to deal with challenging budget issues, it has remained committed to finding ways to support local community groups. This year Massport appropriated $370,000 to fund a community summer jobs program in impacted communities. These funds ensure that hundreds of local young people will have gainful employment and that community agencies will continue to offer summer programming. Prior to that, Massport donated 10 boats and thousands of dollars worth of sailing equipment to the Piers Park Sailing Center (PPSC). These assets were valued at approximately $200,000. In addition, Massport has committed to provide a variety of services at no cost, including use of the dock, boat storage and utilities. Massport also recommitted to its environmental mitigation program and payments-in-lieu-of-taxes to the host communities of Boston, Winthrop and Chelsea.