The Aquinnah selectmen voted this week to accept a private donation to help underwrite the town’s participation in the Massachusetts Estuaries Project study of Menemsha and Squibnocket Ponds. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg will contribute up to $15,000 to help pay for the town’s share of the project.

The donation stems from an agreement made when Mrs. Schlossberg subdivided the 375-acre property she inherited from her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, into 31 lots in 2006. The subdivision was for estate planning purposes; the agreement for contributing money to the estuaries project came about when the Martha’s Vineyard Commission reviewed the plan as a development of regional impact (DRI).

Chilmark and the Wamapanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) are also participating in the study and will share in the cost, currently estimated at roughly $32,000 for each town.

In other business this week, the selectmen approved $1,000 in extra spending for the town snow removal budget. The town has spent $6,500 this season on plowing and sanding, and currently has $2,500 left in the budget.

“It’s very unlikely we’re going to need this, but we need to have it in case,” board chairman Camille Rose said.

Also the town will begin renegotiating the leases for the lots on the Cliffs in the beginning of March. Set to expire this year, the leases include the Aquinnah Restaurant, Faith’s Seafood Shack and several gift shops.

“We need to get to work on those as soon as possible so we have a figure for the rents,” Ms. Rose said.

by Remy Tumin