Excerpts from the NorthwestHerald.com:

There will have to be some changes made in the Woodstock Fire Rescue District after its contract was not renewed with the village of Lakewood, Woodstock Fire Chief Ralph Webster said.

Woodstock has staffed Lakewood’s only fire station on Haligus Road for the past five years and the station now will be closing. There are 12 Woodstock Fire Rescue District employees who staff the station, Webster said. He is working on a plan to keep as many of the 12 employees as possible, but they can’t keep everybody.

“There’s gonna have to be some change,” Webster said. “Either reduction in hours spread across all employees, or actually the elimination of some positions.”

The Lakewood Village Board voted, 3-1, with one trustee abstaining to go with a slightly cheaper contract offered by the Crystal Lake Fire Department that tied increases to the village’s tax base over renewing its contract with the Woodstock Fire Rescue District.

Woodstock’s agreement would have cost $750,000 the first year and increase by 1.5 percent each of the next four years, according to a letter sent by Webster to the village. The village also would pay an annual $25,000 capital contribution to go toward equipment purchases.

Under the new agreement, the Crystal Lake Fire Department will continue to operate its Bard Road station – a station that was built when Crystal Lake handled Lakewood’s fire service with serving that territory in mind – with the current staff of four to five personnel, Crystal Lake Fire Chief Paul DeRaedt has said.

Crystal Lake Fire Department services will cost about $744,000 the first year, a number that is based on applying the Crystal Lake Rural Fire Protection District’s tax rate to the village’s property tax base, according to a draft agreement. The underlying calculation would dictate the fee each year for the length of the 10-year agreement, which can be renewed in five-year increments four times.

Webster said he will be presenting his plan to the Woodstock Fire Rescue District Board of Trustees after the new year, and implement changes starting in February.

For Lakewood, the change means it would not be responsible for building a new fire station in the future, and the village can sell its fire equipment and pay off that internal loan, Lakewood Village Manager Catherine Peterson previously said in a memo to the board.