A public hearing on a referendum that could increase pension benefits for some members of the Wales Center Volunteer Fire Department has been set for 7 p.m. March 12 in Town Hall.
The public hearing will precede that evening’s regular meeting of the Wales Town Board.
All property owners in the Wales fire district who are registered voters as of March 13 will be eligible to vote in the referendum from noon to 9 p.m. April 30 in the Community Center on Big Tree Road.
If approved in the referendum, volunteer firefighters over age 65 will become eligible to earn retirement benefits until they complete 20 years’ service. Currently, firefighters can volunteer for as long as they wish, but their benefits are capped at age 65.
Supporters of the change say it would benefit volunteers who joined the fire company later in life and need more time to earn full benefits.
In other business:
• A new code that would broaden the description of a farm for hoofed animals is nearing completion. The present code requires at least 10 contiguous acres for such a farm; the change would eliminate the requirement that the 10 acres be contiguous.
Goat farmer Eric Beiter, whose property exceeds 10 acres but is not contiguous, asked for the change. Three new goat farms have opened in Wales since the issue arose.
A committee consisting of Supervisor Rickey Venditti, Town Attorney Ronald Bennett and Councilman Gerald Klinck is studying the change.
• A training program for town personnel on sexual harassment, workplace violations and right-to-know policies is being planned for Feb. 27 and March 23. The policies will apply to town-owned buildings such as the Community Center, Town Hall and Court House.
• The Town Board reappointed Ken Brown to a five-year term on the Conservation Advisory Board.
• The Town Board will vote next month on resolutions opposing the state’s new SAFE gun-control law and opposing the elimination of plea bargaining to reduce some traffic offenses from moving violations to parking tickets.
• The board tabled a request from Meals on Wheels for a donation.
• Venditti reported that Wales and neighboring towns received a block grant to continue Rural/Transit van service for a year.
• The board approved a request for a special-use permit for a 7-Eleven store to operate at 6444 Olean Road.