Volunteer firefighters hourly wage up $2

  • Select board members voted Tuesday to raise the volunteer firefighter hourly rate. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:0PM

Select board members approved a $2 an hour wage increase for volunteer firemen during a regular meeting Tuesday evening.

The change would bump up wages from $12 per hour to $14 per hour. The volunteer firemen are paid a stipend twice a year, in June and again in December. The increase will be apparent on stipends paid out in June 2017.

“Volunteerism isn’t what it used to be and a little incentive certainly does help,” said Chief Marshall Gale. “It does show some appreciation for the people who get up at 5:30 a.m. when it’s 20 below to go to a chimney fire.”

He said the change would not affect the department’s budget, unless they received a large spike in calls next year. A select board member said even if that scenario plays out, that is what contingency funds are meant to cover.

Gale said the increase would put the department in line with what other towns are paying their volunteers. 

Board mulls street light project

The town is looking to replace a little more than 100 of its streetlights.

Select board members heard a presentation from a company called Affinity LED Light on Tuesday evening.

John Branagan, a LED lighting specialist, said installing the light fixtures would improve the quality of emitted light, increase energy efficiency and lengthen the life of the bulb.

The replacement project would cost about $27,000, although a cap from Eversource Energy makes it so the town is only responsible for $17,000. Board members said the project would go in front of taxpayers as a warrant article during Town Meeting.

The board is waiting for a warrantee statement and a contract to be sent to the town administrator before it proceeds with a decision.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234.