Archive for November 24th, 2014

State legislation concerns local municipalities (more)

Te Daily Herald has an article about yet another municipality that is voicing an opinion regarding IL HB 5485

City officials in Elgin railed against a bill — now headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk — that requires fire departments’ staffing levels to be subject to bargaining.

City Manger Sean Stegall and Fire Chief John Fahy argued it should be up to local officials to determine staffing levels.

Adding just two firefighters per shift would cost almost $791,000 per year based on the average firefighters’ salary of about $78,500 and an overtime rate of $45 per hour, they said. That’s a total of $8 million over 10 years “for no tangible resulting improvement in services,” Stegall said.

The so-called “minimum manning” bill is all about keeping firefighters employed, Fahy said. “It takes away your authority as the elected representatives of the citizens of Elgin to determine the level of EMS and firefighters, putting it into the hands of an arbitrator out of Chicago,” Fahy said.

Quinn’s staff said the governor will review the bill, which got “yes” votes from State Rep. Anna Moeller, a former Elgin councilwoman, and state Sen. Michael Noland, both Democrats from Elgin.

“The safety of our communities should not be at risk simply because municipal leaders want to limit the influence of unions,” Noland said in a news release Thursday.

Moeller objected to the notion floated by Elgin council members that she changed her mind about the bill after she became a state legislator.

“As a city council we didn’t take a position on that,” she said. “This gives the unions the ability to negotiate. It’s not a mandate. If it goes into arbitration, an arbitrator could determine the request is unreasonable.”

Determining how many firefighters a municipality needs is the result of an equation based on multiple factors, including the location of fire stations and the type of equipment owned, Fahy said.

For example, a few years ago the city opted to buy paramedic engines, which require less staffing than ambulances, Mayor David Kaptain said. As a result, the city didn’t replace two firefighters, bringing the number on shift down to 34 from 36.

“I don’t want to jeopardize anybody’s safety,” Kaptain said. “We felt we could transition to this (paramedic engines) and still provide the same level of quality of service based on response times.”

The bill also defeats the notion that cities should invest in money-saving technology, Kaptain pointed out.

The firefighters union has sued Elgin over lost overtime opportunities stemming from the paramedic engines, but that lawsuit won’t be affected by the minimum manning bill, Corporation Counsel Bill Cogley said.

thanks Dan

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Former Chicago firehouse for sale

The City of Chicago has a closed firehouse for sale.

closed Chicago fire station

Former Chicago firehouse for sale. City of Chicago photo

1405 E. 62nd Place

Located just a few blocks west of the lakefront, this firehouse sits on 62nd Place, a quiet dead-end street off Dorchester Avenue.  Adjacent vacant lot at corner of Dorchester and 62nd Place is also available. The parcel is trapezoidal in shape and abuts the railroad tracks.  The main firehouse structure is 2-stories tall and is clad in red brick and gray limestone.  The 1-story addition to the east incorporates two apparatus doors.

    • Zoning: B3-3
    • Approximate Lot Size: 120′ x 120′
    • Approximate Building Area: 4,480sf
    • Woodlawn TIF
    • Condition:Building requires complete rehabilitation.
    • Ward: 20
    • PIN: 20-14-416-002-0000


For more information call: 
HED’s Real Estate Division at 312.744.2777 
Download Negotiated Sales Packet 

thanks Dan

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Working fire in Niles, 11-16-14

This from Steve Redick:

Happened on this job last Sunday … cold and snowy. Fire was in a townhouse complex, and I think may have been in the basement. Pretty much done when I arrived. Shot the new Niles engine, the North Maine refurbed Pierce, and the soon to be replaced Niles quint.

Steve

Pierce Dash CF fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Pierce fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Pierce fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Pierce fire engine

Steve Redick photo

Pierce fire truck

Steve Redick photo

firemen at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Pierce Dash CF fire engine

Steve Redick photo

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