Village Board passes resolutions to improve Planning Board and LOSAP
MILLBROOK — Tuesday, Sept. 13, Mayor Laura Hurley introduced to the Millbrook Village Board an amended local law that would increase the membership of the Planning Board from five to seven. The amended local law would also change the term of the Planning Board members to three years. When discussing changing the membership size, Hurley said concerns were raised regarding the length of the term, which is currently seven years. However, the village has the ability to override the local law and set new terms for the Planning Board members. The board agreed to introduce the resolution for the local law; the public hearing will extend until the next Village Board meeting in October.“The major concern is if we increase Planning Board size, are we going to have enough volunteers to fill the positions and not limit their ability to function by not having a quorum?” said Hurley. “I have only received two offers to volunteer on the board. I am very excited about them. But there are not a lot of people banging down the door to serve on the board. So I do worry about that and I think we need to be aware of that as we move forward here.”Although there has been little interest expressed so far to be on the Planning Board, Hurley said that shorter terms would not overwhelm members and add a nice fluidity to the board. The resolution has been sent to the county and the discussion will continue at the next Village Board meeting.Hurley presented another draft resolution amending the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for active volunteer firefighters of the Millbrook Fire Department.“In the town of Washington this year we talked about putting the increase to the LOSAP award plan as a proposition on the ballot in November,” said Hurley. “Back in 2003 a referendum was approved by the voters and residents of the village to establish this program. Currently each active volunteer firefighter or rescue squad member earns a $360 LOSAP contribution and a year of service credit that they are entitled to upon retirement.”The lowest level of contribution for LOSAP is $360 and village is working to seek approval from voters to make changes to this plan. The level of contribution for LOSAP ranges from $360 at the lowest, $500 as the middle amount and $700 at the highest.“We decided to have this plan to improve our volunteer retention and try to acknowledge the contributions that they make to the community,” said Hurley. “We would like to direct a public referendum of eligible voters in the village of Millbrook for general election held on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to determine whether the village LOSAP should be amended effective Jan. 1, 2012.”The voter approval would make changes to the plan to increase the LOSAP contribution to $500 instead of $360 to each calendar year. Currently the cost of funding the fire department LOSAP is roughly $13,000 and administration comes to $2,500, said the mayor. If the voters approve the amended plan the actual cost would be $18,000, based on the number of active volunteers that are currently in the plan; however, that number could fluctuate.“The cost per active volunteer firefighter would be $500 and the cost of administration would continue to be $2,500,” said Hurley. “All of the provisions for the award, provided there’s voter approval, will not change the program, which will continue to be administrated by the village of Millbrook.”The board passed the resolution and plans to put the referendum before voters in November.