Assembly votes to create benevolent association

AMSTERDAM – Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, announced the Assembly passed his legislation to create the Amsterdam Firefighters’ Benevolent Association. The association will be authorized to receive ffire insurance money that belongs to the fire department, a news release said.

“The Amsterdam Fire Department has been protecting the people of our community for decades. These dedicated and brave individuals are our friends and neighbors, and they risk their lives to ensure our families and neighborhoods are safe,” Santabarbara said in the release. “This legislation will streamline the process so the fire department receives the money that benefits its firefighters in a timely manner.”

According to the release, traditionally, all foreign fire insurance money collected is distributed by the state Comptroller to the city treasurer. The treasurer is then obligated to pay these funds to an unincorporated association, which consists of members of the Amsterdam Fire Department.

However, a revised City Charter failed to include the local law that obligated the treasurer to distribute the foreign fire insurance money to the unincorporated association. This legislation seeks to correct this oversight by incorporating the association and designating it as the proper recipient of the foreign fire insurance monies. The City Council also unanimously passed a resolution supporting this legislation and the creation of the Amsterdam Firefighters’ Benevolent Association.

“We thank Assemblyman Santabarbara for passing this measure to help reduce burdensome procedures and make it less cumbersome for the Amsterdam Fire Department to receive money that belongs to the department,” said Mike DeMars, president of the local Amsterdam Firefighters Union, in the release.

Foreign insurance funds benefit firefighters in a number of ways, enabling the purchase of gear, equipment and furniture for the firehouse, as well as funding department social functions. The money also enables the fire department to make charitable contributions and sponsor local baseball and softball teams, the release said.