[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Paxton 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 09-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) is herewith established in accordance with provisions of the Second Class Code, in that it rewards members of the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies for their loyal, diligent, and devoted volunteer firefighting services to the residents of Lower Paxton Township; thus providing for the operation and maintenance of said fire companies, securing fire protection for the inhabitants of the Township; and thus ensuring that fire services are provided within the Township by the means and to the extent determined by the Township, including the appropriate financial and administrative assistance for these services, as per consultations with the Township's three Fire Companies.
The LOSAP shall provide for a defined benefit stipend for each volunteer firefighter and/or fire police officer who meets the criteria set forth herein; that such benefit shall be provided in accordance with a plan that shall be established by the Lower Paxton Township; and that such plan shall be administered in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and this chapter.
All years of service referenced herein shall be calculated on a calendar-year basis. To receive credit for a year of service as a volunteer firefighter and fire police officer, the LOSAP plan shall require that volunteers:
Be members in good standing with Colonial Park, Paxtonia, or Linglestown Fire Companies and shall meet any additional requirements established by said fire companies for active membership as a firefighter and/or a fire police officers.
Meet the qualifications of "active volunteers" as defined by PA Act 66 of 2008, except that said qualification must be earned through service only to the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies.
In accordance with PA Act 66 of 2008, earn at least five points in response to fire and rescue responses.
The LOSAP shall be funded by Lower Paxton Township using proceeds from its dedicated real estate tax levy for fire protection. The amount of funding shall be determined by the Board of Supervisors as part of its budget process for an upcoming fiscal year and in general conformance with an actuarial valuation for the LOSAP. In no event, shall the Township's annual allocation of real estate tax revenues to fund the LOSAP exceed $60,000.
Lower Paxton Township shall cause to be prepared an actuarial valuation for the LOSAP not less than once every three years. An actuarial valuation shall also be prepared prior to any amendment of the LOSAP to determine the effect of the proposed amendment on the financial status and annual funding of the LOSAP. The cost of preparation of these referenced actuarial valuations shall be an eligible expenditure of LOSAP funds held on account by the Township.
The LOSAP shall provide that eligible volunteer firefighters and fire police officers must be members of the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, or Linglestown Fire Companies and be between the ages of 18 and 65. Years of service as a volunteer firefighter and/or fire police officer before age 18, after age 65, or with a fire company or fire department not located in Lower Paxton Township shall not shall not be considered as service time as an eligible volunteer firefighter for purposes of this LOSAP.
Eligibility shall also include an exception to the age limitation of 65 as a one-time event limited to individuals with qualifying age and years of service prior to December 31, 2008, and who attain the age of 65 on or before December 31, 2012.
The LOSAP shall provide for a monthly stipend of up to $10 per month, per year of service, to eligible volunteer firefighters and fire police officers, to a maximum total of up to $250 per month at a maximum of 25 years of service. In no event shall the maximum benefit provided to a volunteer firefighter exceed $250 per month.
The LOSAP shall provide for 100% vesting of benefits after completion of five years of service from the effective date of this chapter and after attaining age 40. The LOSAP stipend is payable after a firefighter and/or fire police officer has attained age 65 and has completed five years of service. The LOSAP stipend shall be payable for the life of a firefighter and/or fire police officer and shall terminate upon the member's death.
The LOSAP shall provide for credit of up to 20 years service as an eligible volunteer firefighter and/or fire police officer prior to the establishment of the LOSAP, with said date of establishment being January 1, 2008. Prior years of service credit shall only be provided to firefighters and fire police officers for years before January 1, 2008, that firefighters and fire police officers have met the criteria established in § 128-3 above, as can be demonstrated by the records of the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies, or as can be certified by the Fire Chiefs and Presidents of said Companies, notarized under oath by the Fire Chief, President, and the firefighter and/or fire police officer, based upon the best information that exists at the time of prior years certification. The Fire Chiefs and Presidents of the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies shall furnish to the Township said list of firefighters and fire police officers who have qualified for prior years service credit by no later than March 31, 2009. The Township shall review the certifications of prior years service credit furnished as required herein and approve the certification thereof by no later than May 15, 2009.
In accordance with this chapter the Fire Chiefs and Presidents of the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, or Linglestown Fire Companies shall furnish to the Township, notarized under oath, by no later than January 31 of the new year, an annual certification list of all volunteer firefighters and fire police officers who have qualified for service credit under the LOSAP for the prior year. In addition, all firefighters and fire police officers, certified as required herein by their Fire Chief and President, shall provide a notarized statement indicating that they have fulfilled the annual LOSAP criteria, as herein stated. The Township shall review the annual certification lists and individual firefighter and fire police officer certifications, furnished as required herein, and approve the final annual certifications by no later than February 15 of the current year.
The Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies shall create and maintain sufficient records, suitable to the Township to provide for the maintenance of the LOSAP and to ensure accurate and complete reporting of firefighter and fire police officer credit for years of volunteer service.
The Township shall cause to be created a LOSAP fund in which it will deposit its annual LOSAP contribution, as referenced in § 128-4 above. Said LOSAP contribution shall be deposited on account by the Township on or before June 30 of each year. LOSAP funds, once deposited in the LOSAP fund, shall be invested in accordance with the Pennsylvania Fiduciaries Act.
A LOSAP Committee, consisting of six members, is hereby established and shall be maintained to provide for the review of the LOSAP Program and to provide advice on the investment of LOSAP funds. Said Committee shall be composed of the Township's Manager, Public Safety Director, and Finance Director, and one representative each, appointed by the Colonial Park, Paxtonia, and Linglestown Fire Companies. The LOSAP Committee shall serve in a fiduciary capacity to the LOSAP fund and shall report directly to the Board of Supervisors. The LOSAP Committee shall meet as needed, but no less frequently then on an annual basis. The Township's Finance Director shall serve as the chairman of the LOSAP Committee.
The effective date of this chapter shall be January 1, 2008.