[Editor's Note: This program was approved by the voters of the Borough of Highlands at the General Election of November 2, 2004.]
[Ord. O-04-09, § 1]
A Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) is herewith created in the Borough of Highlands in accordance with Chapter 388 of the Laws of 1997 (N.J.S.A. 40A:14-183, et seq.) and N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.1 et seq., to reward members of the Columbia Hose and Star Hook and Ladder Company and the Highlands First Aid Squad, all of whom are volunteer emergency service organization members, for their loyal, diligent and devoted services to the residents of the Borough of Highlands.
[Ord. O-04-09, § 1]
As used herein, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACTIVE VOLUNTEER MEMBER
- Shall mean a person who has been so designated by the governing body of a duly created emergency service organization and who is faithfully and actually performing volunteer service in that organization.
- EMERGENCY SERVICE ORGANIZATION
- Shall mean the Columbia Hose and Star Hook and Ladder Company and/or the Highlands First Aid Squad.
- LENGTH OF SERVICE AWARDS PROGRAM (LOSAP)
- Shall mean a system established to provide tax-deferred income benefits to active volunteer members of an emergency service organization.
- YEAR OF ACTIVE EMERGENCY SERVICE
- Shall mean a 12-month period during which an active volunteer member participates in first aid service and satisfies the minimum requirements of participation established by the borough on a consistent and uniform basis.
The borough's LOSAP shall provide for the funding of fixed annual contributions by the Borough of Highlands to a deferred-income account for each active volunteer member that meets the criteria set forth below. Such contributions shall be made in accordance with a LOSAP plan to be established by the borough in accordance with the requirements of P.L. 1997, c. 388 (N.J.S.A. 40A:14-183 et seq.) and N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.1 et seq. The said plan shall be administered in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, the United States Internal Revenue Code, and this chapter. The following provisions shall apply to the plan:
Annual Contributions. The minimum and maximum annual contributions to be made by the Borough of Highlands for each active volunteer member shall be in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14-183, (From $100.00 to $1,150.00 per year of active emergency service), commencing with the fiscal year 2005-2006. There shall be no contributions made for prior years service.
Appropriations. Appropriations for the purpose of funding the borough's LOSAP plan shall be included as a separate line item in the borough's budget commencing with the year 2005-2006.
Periodic Increases. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph a above, the annual contribution to be made by the borough for each active volunteer member shall be subject to periodic increases based upon the consumer price index factor pursuant to subsection f of section 3 of P.L. 1997, c. 388 (N.J.S.A. 40A:14-185).
Estimated cost. The estimated cost of the program to the borough has been calculated to be approximately eighty-five thousand one hundred ($85,100.00) dollars per year.
Criteria for Eligibility; Contributions; Points.
Any active volunteer member shall be eligible to participate in the LOSAP plan immediately upon commencement of the member's performance of active voluntary services in the emergency service organization.
Annual contributions pursuant to this chapter shall only be made by the borough, however, for those active volunteer members who have earned the minimum number of points for performing certain volunteer services on a yearly basis pursuant to the requirements for the Columbia Star Hose and Hook Company, and Highlands First Aid Squad, attached hereto as Schedules A and B, respectively.
Editor's Note: Schedules A and B, referred to herein are included as attachments to this chapter.
Determination as to Eligibility. Each emergency service organization shall provide to the plan administrator of the LOSAP plan a certified list as to the active volunteer members who are initially eligible to participate in the plan and those who are eligible to participate as of each January 1 thereafter. The plan administrator shall forward said certified list to the borough council for approval, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.10. The decision of the borough council as to such active member's eligibility shall be binding upon the plan administrator, participants, beneficiaries, and any and all other persons having an interest hereunder, subject to appropriate judicial review.
Terms of Participation. The plan administrator shall have the right to require any active volunteer member at the time of his or her becoming a participant to agree, in writing, to be bound by the terms, covenants and conditions of the LOSAP and accompanying trust. Each participant shall furnish to the plan administrator all pertinent information required for the administration of the LOSAP. The plan administrator shall rely upon all such information furnished.
Vesting. The active volunteer member shall not be permitted to receive a distribution of the funds in his or her LOSAP account until the completion of a five-year vesting period.
Termination of Service.
Any participant who terminates service as an active volunteer member shall cease to participate hereunder. A former participant may resume participation immediately upon returning to the service of the emergency service organization as an active volunteer member.
Any active volunteer member who terminates service with the emergency service organization, subsequently returns to service and again becomes a participant shall be treated as a new participant for purposes of eligibility unless said participant was fully vested prior to his or her termination from service.