With town meeting looming this spring, the Aquinnah select board is tightening its belt to ensure the town has enough funding to cover top priorities in the coming year.

In an Aquinnah select board meeting on Tuesday, West Tisbury select board members Cynthia Mitchell and Skipper Manter approached Aquinnah about chipping in funding for the proposed Howes House renovations, seeking to emulate the same funding model of the tri-town EMS building.

The Howes House, which serves as the headquarters for the Up-Island Council on Aging, provides senior care services and resources to all three up-Island towns. Due to Aquinnah’s small population, Ms. Mitchell noted that the town would not be expected to pitch in the same portion of funding as the other two towns.

Select board members said they supported the project but were wary to commit any funding.

“I have no doubt there’s a need for the space,” town administrator Jeff Madison said. “For our town, it’s a question of can we afford it.”

The select board also split on the question of whether to fund a clearing project to improve the scenic views on Moshup Trail.

Aquinnah resident and owner of Native Plant Associates Carlos Montoya estimated that the entire project, which includes clearing away brush and multiple rounds of mowing, would cost between $26,000 and $30,000, with maintenance costs of about $2,000 per year.

Select board member Juli Vanderhoop felt that the money could go towards more essential projects, such as seeding Menemsha Pond for shellfish growth or constructing a playground, a project she said has stalled for almost 15 years.

“I can’t see how we could support this,” she said. “We’re facing other issues pertinent to the town.”

Selectman Tom Murphy expressed support for the project but wondered if Mr. Montoya could find a benefactor to fund the project. Mr. Montoya replied that he could potentially find someone to help fund the initial clearing and mowing if the town could agree to fund the maintenance costs.

“It’s just going to cost the town more and more and more,” Mr. Madison said.

In other business, Mr. Madison has proposed renewing the town’s lease with the Aquinnah Cultural Center, run by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), for the next 25 years, with an annual rent of $1.

“I think the cultural center is a different animal than the rest [of the cliff leases] as a charity organization,” he said, adding that the long-term lease would give the center the support it needs to grow.

Mr. Murphy suggested that the town instead extend a five-year lease with four five-year options, amounting to a total of 25 years with the option to negotiate every five years if needed.

“Twenty-five years is a long time,” he said. “I’m hesitant to lock us into anything for that long.”

The select board decided to table the motion to the next meeting after Mr. Murphy examines the lease language.

On Thursday, March 23, Aquinnah town staff will receive an administrative day to attend the Martha Goes to Beacon Hill demonstration in support of the Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank. The all-day event is organized by the Coalition to Create the Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank.

Transportation, including round-trip ferry tickets and chartered private buses, is entirely funded by the coalition.

The select board was united in their support for the event and for the day off to encourage attendance. Ms. Vanderhoop said that the coalition is looking for around 200 people to attend.

“We want to make a big show,” she said.