Adds a local fire company, the Sir William Johnson Fire Company in Fulton County, to the list of companies and districts which are exempt from state limits on non-resident members.
Ayes (22): Smith, Espada, Stachowski, Montgomery, Duane, Hassell-Thompson, Krueger, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins, Dilan, Klein, Valesky, Monserrate, Skelos, Padavan, Volker, Farley, LaValle, Seward, Hannon, Larkin, Saland
Nays (1): Parker
Excused (1): Johnson O
BILL NUMBER: S1643
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the town law, in relation to certain local fire companies
To include the Sir William Johnson Fire Company in Fulton County among the list of fire districts and fire companies which are exempt from the statutory limits on the percentage of non-resident members, thereby helping this volunteer fire company in ensuring a sufficient level of membership to protect the community.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
The bill amends Section 176-b(7) of the Town Law to include the Sir William Johnson Fire Company among the list of fire districts and fire companies which have been exempted from the statutory limits on non-resident members.
EXISTING LAW :
Section 176-b(7) of the Town Law generally provides that the percentage of non-resident members of a fire department cannot exceed 45% of the total membership of the department. However, this subdivision has been amended many times in recent years to exempt 20 specific fire districts from the statutory percentage limitation.
The Sir William Johnson Fire Company protects a large, mostly rural area of the Town of Johnstown in Fulton County. This volunteer fire company is facing significant challenges in ensuring sufficient membership. This situation is compounded by the New York State law which imposes a 45% cap on the number of nonresidents that may be members of a fire company. The number of persons who live within the fire company's jurisdiction is relatively small, and it is difficult to find volunteers. However, the fire company's territory is near larger population bases, including the City of Johnstown, from which it is able to draw volunteers. There are several non-residents currently serving in the company, and several others who are interested in serving. The State Legislature has previously exempted 20 other fire districts throughout the State from the statutory limits on the number of nonresidents who may serve in a fire company. This bill would similarly exempt the Sir William Johnson Fire Company. This legislation will help the fire company in recruiting and retaining a sufficient level of membership.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.8121 of 2008 (passed Senate)/A.10892 (Assembly Local Government Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 1643 A. 4321 2009-2010 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y February 3, 2009 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Govern- ment IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. BUTLER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Local Governments AN ACT to amend the town law, in relation to certain local fire compa- nies THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 7 of section 176-b of the town law, as sepa- rately amended by chapters 358, 378 and 380 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 7. The membership of any volunteer firefighter shall not be continued pursuant to subdivision five of this section, and persons shall not be elected to membership pursuant to subdivision six of this section, if, by so doing, the percentage of such non-resident members in the fire company would exceed forty-five per centum of the actual membership of the fire company, provided however, that the provisions of this subdivi- sion shall not apply to the memberships of the Shelter Island Heights fire district, the Cherry Grove fire district, the Fire Island Pines fire district, the Davis Park fire department, and the Cold Spring Harbor fire district in Suffolk county, the New Hampton fire district, the Mechanicstown fire district and the Good Will fire district in Orange county, the Jericho fire district and the Westbury fire district in Nassau county, the Orangeburg fire district in Rockland county, the South Lockport Fire Company and the Terry's Corners volunteer fire company in Niagara County, the Taunton fire district and the Onondaga Hill fire department in Onondaga county, the Town of Batavia fire department in Genesee County, the Schuyler Heights fire district and the Slingerlands fire district I in Albany county, the town of ProvidenceEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07458-01-9 S. 1643 2 A. 4321
fire district in Saratoga county, the River Road fire district, No. 3 in Erie county, THE SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON FIRE COMPANY IN FULTON COUNTY or the memberships of the Millwood fire district, the Purchase Fire District, and the North Castle South Fire District, No. 1 in Westchester county. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.