Town Board Moves To Reduce Chaffee-Sardinia Firefighter Benefits

August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM EDT

TOWN OF SARDINiA, N.Y. -- A town board meeting in Sardinia has left the 42 active members of the local fire company crying foul. The board's plan is to slash the costs of the service awards program. Wednesday evening, Chaffee Sardinia Fire Company members gathered outside of the town hall before the monthly town board meeting. They just received word that the board's agenda holds a resolution that would dramatically change their two year old length of service, awards program (LOSAP).

In a move to cut future costs...the Sardinia Town Board voted to add two referendums to this November's ballot. The first will end the current program and the second will start a cheaper program that provides greatly reduced benefits. Length of service awards programs or LOSAP as they are known, were designed to help recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. The current plan cost the town approximately 100,000 dollars this year. The newly proposed plan will cost about 25 thousand dollars each year. But, the new one time payment plan could mean thousands of dollars in reduced benefits for long serving firefighters.