CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- St. Albans City Council members approved the final reading of a proposed ordinance that will create a deferred retirement public pension plan for firefighters.It will become effective Jan. 1. Veteran firefighters can now retire, collect a pension and still work as needed on the side."We will be the first city in the state to have that," Mayor Dick Callaway said.
Any additional time spent working would go toward a new pension benefit fund. When firefighters retire for good, they can collect a lump sum from the new benefit fund after five years."What this does for this city is that we are keeping professional firemen for longer periods of time," Callaway said last month. "This saves the city money ... because we don't have to spend money on training."Firefighters in the program would also pay a portion of his or her salary to the general pension fund, which "will allow that fund to be strengthened," Callaway has said.Also Monday, council members learned that more than 1,000 cars have traveled through the city's Festival of Lights holiday light show at City Park. The lights will be on every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 26, but will not be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.Also, Callaway said that the city's Christmas tree would be lit on Friday at 6:30 p.m. outside City Hall.