Retirement plan would cost $375,000

July 18, 1997


Staff Writer

HALFWAY - The Washington County Fire and Rescue Association plans to make its pitch to the Washington County Commissioners July 29 for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in funding for an incentive retirement plan for 25-year volunteers.

The association estimated that the Length of Service Awards Program would cost $375,000 in the first year.

County officials have estimated the program would cost $225,000 in the first year and rise by 5 percent a year after that, said Rick Hemphill, a member of the association's awards committee.

Association President Jay Grimes said the county has agreed to the rewards program in principle but hasn't agreed to fund it.


"The objective is to get something in place," Grimes told association members at a meeting Thursday night in Halfway Volunteer Fire Co.'s bingo hall.

No more than 15 years of service could be grandfathered in under the plan, so the first benefits wouldn't be paid out until at least the year 2007.

Retired volunteers over the age of 65 with at least 25 years of active service would receive between $200 and $350 a month plus a $4,000 death benefit, Hemphill said.

Hemphill said the cost of the program was equal to 12 cents to 15 cents per reported hour of volunteer time.

Hemphill said the state's incentive program rewarding six-year volunteers with a $3,000 income tax credit has also helped boost the number of volunteers to about 1,250 countywide.

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