MARCELLUS, N.Y. -- The Town of Marcellus passed a referendum in an effort to sustain its volunteer fire department into the future. The department now has a fund for retired volunteers, which the town board approved Tuesday night.
The Service Award Program allows firefighters to earn points by attending training seminars, meetings and of course, fire and emergency calls. In return, for every 50 points earned by each firefighter in one year's time, the town will put $700 into that firefighter's account.
The Marcellus Town Supervisor says the town is looking for ways to offset program costs to maintain low taxes and he is confident that the program will ultimately benefit the community.
"Without enough volunteers to staff the fire department, the town has an obligation to provide public safety and we'd have to think about paid firefighters. And that would be much more costly than the program we've just entered into," sand Marcellus Town Supervisor Dan Ross.
Once the volunteer firefighters turn 60-years-old, they can access their account and any interest accumulated as a lump sum or in monthly payments, similar to a 401K payment plan.