The Work Group to Study the Laws & Policies Related to the Distribution of Money to Volunteer & Career Fire Companies recently convened. MACo is participating in the deliberations of the Work Group, and providing a county perspective as they consider.
Senator Barry Glassman of Harford County is serving as Chair of the Work Group. Additional members of the Work Group include appointments from the House and Senate, and representatives of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association, Maryland Fire Chiefs Association, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Council of the State of Maryland, and the Professional Firefighters of Maryland. The Military Department is staffing the Work Group.
The Work Group is to examine the adequacy of State laws and policies which apply to certain funds distributed by counties to volunteer and career fire companies, including the Senator William H. Amoss Fire, Rescue and Ambulance Fund. Further, the Work Group will consider options and make recommendations concerning the distribution of such funds, including the existing county maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement under the Amoss Fund.
MACo has surveyed counties regarding the funding process and the distribution of Amoss funds. Based on information from our membership, we are raising concerns regarding the following primary concerns:
- the volume of documentation and accounting required to track and report on the funds, the difficulties of documenting volunteer expenditures, and the burden of documentation and compliance on small volunteer organizations
- the inclusion of unique one-time expenditures in MOE, and resultant inequities in the distribution of funds
- the classification and processing of certain payments and purchases, and deadlines for encumbering funds
- the difficulty of obtaining up-to-date information on reporting.
For more information, see our past post on Conduit Street, Audit Criticizes Local Fire Department Funding.
If you wish to serve as part of a MACo support group to the Work Group, please contact Les Knapp at 410.269.0043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.