Amityville trustees Monday night authorized the fire department to spend up to $29,640 for the annual awards dinner next year at the Venetian Yacht Club.
The dinner includes food and liquor for 260 people at a cost of $114 per person, which some residents at the board meeting criticized as extravagant.
In an interview yesterday, trustee Nick LaLota countered that the amount was less than had been authorized in the past. The party is one of the few material benefits for members of the volunteer force, he said, along with a small property tax reduction and pension that total less than $600 a year per firefighter.
“These guys put in, on average, more than 1,000 hours of service a year, either training, or running into burning buildings or responding to motor vehicle accidents,” he said. “Cutting from an annual party that honors their service is the wrong place to cut.”
The department had initially requested $64,522 to lock in the 2015 party as well, but the trustees were unwilling to authorize the expense.