NOTICE OF PUBLIC REFERENDUM
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that pursuant to General Municipal Law Section 216, a public referendum of the residents of the Wassaic Fire District will take place on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, between the hours of 6 pm and 9 pm at the Wassaic Fire District headquarters, located at 27 Firehouse Road, Dutchess County, State of New York for the purpose of voting upon the following proposition:
THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS OF THE WASSAIC FIRE DISTRICT ADOPTED A RESOLUTION ON JULY 10, 2014 AUTHORIZING, PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 11-A OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, A PUBLIC REFERENDUM OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS OF THE WASSAIC FIRE DISTRICT IN A SPECIAL ELECTION TO SEEK APPROVAL OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEFINED CONTRIBUTION SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2014, FOR CERTIFIED ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE WASSAIC FIRE COMPANY, INC.
UNDER THE PROGRAM, A $700 ANNUAL SERVICE AWARD SHALL BE CREDITED TO A PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM ACCOUNT BALANCE AT THE END OF EACH YEAR AFTER 2013 DURING WHICH THE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER EARNED A YEAR OF SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM SERVICE CREDIT; AN ADDITIONAL $700 SERVICE AWARD SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE ACCOUNTS OF ELIGIBLE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEERS FOR EACH YEAR UP TO A MAXIMUM OF FIVE (5) YEARS OF "PRIOR SERVICE CREDIT" EARNED FOR CALENDAR YEARS PRIOR TO 2014 AND AFTER CALENDAR YEAR 2008; SUCH PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S ACCOUNT BALANCE WITH INTEREST EARNED OR PAID THEREON SHALL BE THE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S ACCRUED SERVICE AWARD; UNDER THE PROGRAM PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEERS SHALL BE PAID, GENERALLY AT AGE 60, THE ENTITLEMENT AGE, A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT OR ANNUAL INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS EQUAL TO OR EQUIVALENT TO THE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S ACCRUED SERVICE AWARD; CERTIFIED ACTIVE MEMBERS WHO HAVE ATTAINED THE ENTITLEMENT AGE MAY EARN OR CONTINUE TO EARN SERVICE CREDIT AND SHALL BE PAID ADDITIONAL SERVICE AWARDS; PRE-ENTITLEMENT AGE DEATH AND DISABILITY BENEFITS SHALL BE PAYABLE UNDER THE PROGRAM EQUAL TO THE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S ACCRUED SERVICE AWARD EARNED AS OF THE DECEMBER 31 PRECEDING DEATH OR PRECEDING THE DATE THE PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEER'S TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY SHALL BE AWARDED BY THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS. THE PAYMENT OF PROGRAM BENEFITS SHALL EFFECTIVELY COMMENCE JANUARY 1, 2015 AS PARTICIPATING VOLUNTEERS OR THEIR BENEFICIARIES BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR PAYMENTS.
THE TOTAL ANNUAL COST OF FUNDING THE WASSAIC FIRE DISTRICT SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM BENEFITS FOR CURRENT CERTIFIED ACTIVE MEMBERS IS ESTIMATED TO BE AS MUCH AS $43,000 OR ABOUT $1,195 PER VOLUNTEER; INCLUDING THE COST OF ADMINISTRATION; THE ESTIMATED ANNUAL COST TO ADMINISTER THE PROGRAM IS ABOUT $3,000; THE TOTAL PRIOR SERVICE CREDIT COST WILL BE AMORTIZED OVER TEN (10) YEARS AT AN ANNUAL PAYMENT OF ABOUT $14,500 PER YEAR. WHEN THE PRIOR SERVICE CREDIT COST SHALL BE FULLY PAID AFTER TEN (10) YEARS, THE TOTAL ANNUAL COST IS EXPECTED TO DECREASE BY ABOUT 33%.
THE PROPOSED DEFINED CONTRIBUTION SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS OF THE WASSAIC FIRE DISTRICT.
THEREFORE, SHALL THE STATED RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH THE WASSAIC FIRE DISTRICT SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM BE APPROVED?
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that a copy of the aforesaid resolution and a copy of the Point System for earning service credit referred to in said resolution are available for inspection at the Fire District headquarters, and that every person who shall be a registered voter and who shall have resided in the Wassaic Fire District for a period of thirty (30) days immediately preceding the referendum shall be eligible to vote upon the proposition.
Issued by the
Wassaic Fire District
Regarding the Proposed Service Award Program for
Volunteer Firefighters Members of the Wassaic Fire Company, Inc.
Registered voters, who have resided in the Wassaic Fire District for at least 30 days, will be eligible to vote in favor of or against the establishment of a financial incentive program (called a service award program) for active volunteer firefighter members of the Wassaic Fire Company, Inc. on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. There will be a public information meeting held at the Wassaic Fire House on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:00p.m. about the proposed program. The Wassaic Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners and a representative of Penflex, Inc., the firm which the Fire District has retained to help establish the Program, will explain the Program and answer questions about the Program.
New York State political subdivisions have been allowed by law to establish service award programs for their volunteer firefighters since January 1, 1990. Service award programs are intended to help retain existing volunteer firefighters for longer periods of time, recruit new volunteer firefighters, encourage more participation from current volunteer firefighters and financially reward these volunteer firefighters for their service to the community.
The proposed Wassaic Fire District Service Award Program will operate like a simple defined contribution pension plan. For each year an active volunteer firefighter member of the Wassaic Fire Company, Inc. earns a year of service credit, a $700 contribution will be deposited by the Fire District to the participating volunteer's Service Award Program account. These contributions are invested and grow with interest over time. The value of the participating volunteer's account is payable to the volunteer on the January 151 following the attainment of age 60. To earn a year of service credit, an active volunteer firefighter member must earn a minimum of 50 points under the New York State law mandated point system. An active volunteer firefighter member earns points by attending drills, responding to calls, completing training courses, attending company meetings, completing a one year term as an officer and for other activities. Participating volunteers may also earn service credit for volunteer firefighter service in the five calendar years immediately preceding the effective date of the program (2009 to 2013). A participating volunteer's account balance becomes 100% vested when he or she earns credit for five years of service under the Point System. There is a death benefit payable under the Program for death prior to age 60 equal to the participating volunteer's account balance at the time of death. In addition, there is a disability benefit payable under the Program for disablement before age 60 also equal to the participating volunteer's account balance at the time of disablement.
In operation, the proposed program must and will comply with the New York State General Municipal Law. Calendar year 2014 will be the first year in which active volunteer firefighter members will have the
opportunity to earn the required points under the Service Award Program Point System. In calendar year
2015, the Fire District will begin to fund the Program for those participating volunteers who earned the required points in 2014.
The proposed program would be funded by the property taxpayers of the Wassaic Fire District. Based on the current roster of active volunteer firefighter members, the annual cost could be as much as 16.5¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value. Each year the annual cost will be recalculated and based on the annually updated active volunteer firefighter member point records.
The Fire District has retained Penflex, Inc. to help establish and administer the Program. Penflex is nationally recognized for its Service Award Program expertise and has helped establish and/or administer over 3 00
Service Award Programs in New York State including the following Dutchess County municipalities: Arlington, East Clinton, East Fishkill, Glenham, Hughsonville, Hyde Park, Pawling, Pleasant Valley, Stanford & Union Vale Fire Districts, City of Beacon, and the Village of Millbrook.
INFORMATION SHEET ABOUT
THE PROPOSED SERVICE AWARD PROGRAM FOR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER MEMBERS
OF THE WASSAIC FIRE COMPANY, INC.
o On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, registered voters, residing in the Wassaic Fire District for at least 30 days, will have the opportunity to vote "yes" or "no" to establish a Volunteer Firefighter Service Award Program for active volunteer firefighter members of the Wassaic Fire Company, Inc., effective January 1, 2014.
o Service Award Programs are intended to help recruit and retain active volunteer firefighters by financially rewarding them for the services they provide to their community.
o The proposed Wassaic Fire District Service Award Program will be a "defined contribution" program.
o For each year of active volunteer firefighter service credit earned, a $700 "Service Award" will be credited to the participating volunteer's Service Award Program account balance as of the end of the calendar year. These funds are then invested and any investment income earned will be added to the participating volunteer's account balance. A participating volunteer will be paid his or her Service Award Program account balance on January 1st following the participating volunteer's 60th birthday.
o An active volunteer firefighter member earns a year of service credit by accumulating a minimum of 50 "points" during a calendar year, which is mandated by New York State Law. Points are earned for attending drills, responding to calls, completing training courses, attending company meetings, completing a one-year term as an officer, etc. Service credit may also be earned by a participating volunteer for up to five years of active volunteer firefighter service prior to 2014 (for calendar years 2009 to 2013).
o A participating volunteer must earn five years of service credit to become vested in his/her Service Award Program account balance. If a participating volunteer ceases being an active volunteer firefighter member of the Wassaic Fire Company, Inc. before earning five years of service credit, the account balance earned by the participating volunteer will be forfeited and the funds will be returned to the District.
o A participating volunteer's program account balance will be paid from the program if the participating volunteer becomes totally and permanently disabled or dies prior to age 60.
o In calendar year 2015, property taxpayers will begin funding the program based on the 2014 roster of active volunteer firefighter member points; each year thereafter the annual cost will be recalculated and based on the annually updated active volunteer firefighter member point records.
o Based on the current roster, the annual cost could be as much as 16.5¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a property assessed at $100,000, the property owner will pay less than $17 a year for this program.
Webutuck Valley Youth Soccer League invites you to a Soccer Jamboree
Saturday, August 30th (raindate Saturday, September 6th)
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Beekman Park, Amenia
Shinguards and cleats necessary
FREE for players who are registered to play soccer this fall with the WVYSL
$5 for non-registered players
sponsored by the Thomas J. Berlinghoff Memorial Foundation