Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

The South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District held an open house Thursday about two referendum questions on the March 20 election ballot. 

One referendum question asks permission to borrow $10 million to build two new fire stations. That would result in an estimated $62.58 annual property tax increase for a home with a $200,000 market value.

The other question asks for a 0.1 percent increase to the fire district levy — technically to create a new emergency and rescue fund — to pay for additional firefighters and equipment. That would result in an estimated $66.67 annual property tax increase for a home with a $200,000 market value.

Those who claim homeowners’ exemptions would pay slightly less. The fire district levy represents about 4.5 percent of property tax bills, with an additional 0.6 percent for firefighters’ pensions.

The 24-square-mile district has two stations, employs 30 full-time firefighters/paramedics and 10 part-timers who last year responded to 2,900 calls — 70 percent for emergency medical services. That’s up from 2,600 calls five years ago.

The plan is to build two new stations, one at 498 South Elgin Blvd. and one at 1090 Spring St., the latter to replace an aging station that also houses administrative offices. The district would hire at least nine more full-time firefighters and more part-timers.

The village anticipates more residential and commercial development on the far east side, including townhouses, a memory care facility and possibly grocery stores. Under the plan, the three fire stations would be well-positioned to each cover about a third of the district.

The fire district has owned the property on South Elgin Boulevard for years; it bought the Spring Street property for $350,000 in December after the price dropped considerably.

If the plan moves forward, the vacated station on State Street, adjacent to village hall, would likely be sold to the village. 

thanks Dan