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Amid confusion, and several volunteer firefighters storming out of the meeting Monday night, the East Aurora Village Board tabled a request to set a mandatory referendum before the end of the year on a plan to implement a firefighters service award program.

The program, a pension plan for firefighters who have put in at least 20 years of active service, had been developed by a committee of East Aurora firemen over a 7-year span. It calls for the village to create a "defined benefit" package, whereby the village would make payments of $20 per year's service to fireman for up to 20 years' service.

Volunteer firemen would be required to amass 50 "points" annually over the 20 years to be eligible for a pension of about $400 a month, according to Village Administrator Patrick E. Richey. Richey said it would cost village taxpayers $73,054 the first year, which includes a $26,000 annual contribution, plus $46,000 amortized over five years.

After considerable discussion on when to hold the mandatory referendum, Trustee Randy Taylor, himself a volunteer fireman, proposed submitting it for voter approval by the end of the year. But after Taylor's motion was seconded by Trustee Barbara Lamond, Mayor John V. Pagliaccio invoked "parliamentary procedure" by putting up a companion motion to table the matter for further

After several procedural moves that led to the matter's tabling, Firefighters Dale Parrish, Chief Rob Matthewson, President Dick Bamburg and David Mayer stormed out of the meeting.

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