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January 26, 2009 Special Meeting Minutes
Volunteer Incentive Committee Meeting

Special Meeting Minutes , Jan 26,2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm by Ron Masters.

Present were:  Mike Balf, Jim Barton, Cal Meyers, Dave Lockwood, Dan Schnobrich, Marie DeSousa, Gil Hayes & Ron Masters

Minutes of the meeting of Nov 10 were reviewed.  A motion was made by Dan Schnobrich and 2nd by Gil Hayes to approve the minutes as written. The motion passed with two abstentions.

The Fire Chiefs presented the data for the quarter ending Dec.31. Volunteer incentive expenditures for BBFD were $15,988. Chief Lockwood said that total calls were down from 121 for the July-Sept. quarter to 91 for the quarter just ending. He indicated that mandatory training due in the coming months will increase the amount spent in this category. Chief Barton told the committee that expenditures for the WPFD were $17,005 for the quarter including officer’s portion of the incentive plan.

The committee discussed a letter Chief Lockwood received from Jeff Morrissete, State Fire Administrator, from  Congressman Larson’s office. The letter outlines recent changes to the IRS code which exempts from Federal income tax, Connecticut’s $1000 property tax abatement for volunteer firefighters. This change also exempts the first $350 of any other type of benefit provided by the town. This would include the Volunteer Incentive program.

The committee discussed the volunteer incentive budget for the coming fiscal year. Data from the first two quarters of this fiscal year indicate that there could be money left in the volunteer incentive budget at the end of the year. The committee feels that the best approach is to request the same amount as the previous year and not to request an improvement to the Volunteer Incentive program this year. A motion to this effect was made by Marie DeSousa and seconded by Mike Balf. The motion carried. A letter requesting $180,000 for the fiscal year 2009/2010 will be sent to the First Selectman’s office this week.

The next meeting was scheduled for April 27 at 7pm at the BBFD.

Respectfully submitted,

Ronald Masters
Committee co- Chairman