ALBERTON -- Alberton firemen will have to wait until next year for an increase in their annual honorarium, Mayor Michael Murphy advised during the November council meeting.
Eligible fire fighters are currently entitled to an honorarium of $500 each from the town. The deputy chief gets $600 and the chief receives $800.
The current honorarium, the mayor acknowledged, “is not a great deal of money for what they do.”
The department sent an email to the town seeking to have the firemen’s honorarium boosted to $1,000.
“It’s not that we don’t want to give them the increase of the honorarium; it’s just that the budget was set last March and sent in to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs,” Murphy stated.
“If this would have been presented to us earlier in the year, we would have done our best to try to get that honorarium up there for them, but this came in at the eleventh hour and there is just no way we can get it changed right now.”
Asked by new councilor Natasha Dunn if the finances are set in stone, Murphy replied, “We try to stick to it as close as we can, seeing that we have other irons in the fire to look after as well.”
The mayor explained that council is in the final months of its annual budget and most of that money is already spent. He said the request could be looked at during 2013 budget discussions. He said the honorariums budgeted for this year will cost the town up to $19,800. What the fire department requested would have pushed that total to $30,500.