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Pendleton voters to consider firefighter benefits

PENDLETON – The voters of Pendleton will consider a proposition Tuesday that would increase the maximum amount of service time to be credit toward volunteer firemen’s service award benefits from 20 years to 30 years, effective Jan. 1.

By allowing firefighters to compile more time, Supervisor James A. Riester said, it would provide an incentive for more experienced volunteers to keep responding to fire and rescue calls frequently.

The current cost of the service awards program is $141,000 a year, or $1,675 per member, plus $5,500 for administrative costs. The payments are based on the number of years worked. If the proposition is approved Tuesday, the estimated cost would increase to $180,500 a year.