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Funding sought for volunteers' retirement

July 30, 1997

The Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association asked the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday night to pay $225,000 for a retirement program for 25-year volunteers.

The program, which the association had requested previously, would give monthly checks of up to $350 to volunteer firefighters with more than 25 years of active service after they reach age 65.

Under the proposal, the retirement program would cost about $7.4 million over 20 years. Up to 15 years of service would be grandfathered in to existing firefighters, so the first payments would be at least 10 years away.

So far, about 1,250 firefighters are involved in the county's volunteer awards program. A little less than half are eligible for a $3,000 state income tax deduction.

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But only 67 have served more than 25 years, said Rick Hemphill, who is on the association's awards program committee.

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