Posts Tagged Barrington FPD investigates terminating their contract with the Village of Barrington

Barrington village and fire district discuss splitting

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District and the Village of Barrington have been discussing whether or not to continue their relationship or split. Previous posts on this topic can be found HEREHERE, and HERE.

The Daily Herald has an article on the topic.

If there’s a point of no return in the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s threatened end-of-year split from the Barrington Fire Department, both sides seem to have widely different opinions of when it is.

Fire district officials, who currently contract for services from the geographically smaller village of Barrington, are making plans to hire their own temporary administrator next month as well as to buy an approximately $400,000 water tanker — a request the village has consistently declined.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch said Monday she believes the close relationship the two taxing bodies have had will continue in some form.

“I still think we will have a contractual relationship,” Darch said. “As I said before, we’re still trying to work out the correct structure of that relationship.”

But fire district trustees said Monday they’ll be taking significant steps in the next few weeks toward becoming an independent fire department.

The district serves an area that includes parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, Inverness and South Barrington.

On April 29, district trustees will meet with candidates recommended by the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association for the job of temporary administrator. At the district’s regular meeting in May, the board expects to hear a more specific cost for the 3,000-gallon tanker truck it wants custom built.

The difference of opinion over the need for an extra tanker is one of many disagreements leading to the potential split on Jan. 1.

“We can’t buy equipment without their permission, and they won’t let us buy it,” district Trustee Paul Heinze said.

But Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said that because the contract is considered in limbo at present, the village wouldn’t object to the tanker purchase as long as it has no financial obligation for it.

District trustees Monday also voted to repair 11 faulty traffic signal opticoms that were causing potential delays to emergency vehicles at red lights. The repairs will cost an estimated $70,000.

Thanks Tom

Other posts pertaining to the relationship between the village and the fire district can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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Barrington village & FPD may split

The Daily Herald has an article detailing actions between the Village of Barrington and the Barrington & Countryside FPD.

An exchange of letters between the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District and the village of Barrington has kicked off a 15-month period in which the two agencies must either negotiate a new intergovernmental agreement or go their separate ways.

The mutual letters of intent to terminate the current long-running contract between the two governments stemmed from fire district officials’ insistence that they need more control over staffing levels and the purchase of new equipment.

Fire district officials said whenever they ask to increase these — even at the district’s own expense — the village says no.

“There’s no flexibility. There’s no cooperation,” said fire district President Tom Rowan. “We just don’t feel we can continue to spend the money we’re spending with the village and get no cooperation.”

While the Barrington Fire Department serves the village itself, the fire district serves a larger area surrounding the village. This area includes portions of Barrington Hills, Inverness, Lake Barrington, South Barrington and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

Since the fire district was formed as a separate taxing body, its appointed officials have decided that the most cost-effective way to provide service is to contract with Barrington to supply its firefighters, paramedics and equipment.

But in recent times, whenever additional personnel or equipment is sought, the village refuses, Rowan said.

Barrington’s recent letter of response to the fire district from Village President Karen Darch reiterates the argument that there is no need for the additional water tanker the district wants.

And the letter points out that the village alone remains responsible for retired employees’ pensions, even if the district is willing to pay more for additional firefighters’ salaries.

Rowan said that while he isn’t an attorney, he felt there must be a way for the district to take long-term responsibility for the pensions of the employees it wants the village to hire.

The district is currently prepared for upcoming talks with the village to go in either direction, Rowan said. While there’s hope a new agreement can be reached, the district is also talking with surrounding fire departments about starting new mutual-aid agreements with the staff the district would be hiring itself if there’s a split.

Among the district’s own properties are fire stations next to Barrington Hills village hall and in Lake Barrington’s industrial park on Pepper Road.

The entire article can be found HERE.

A previous article can be found HERE.

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Barrington village & FPD may split

The Daily Herald has an article which looks into discussions about the relationship between the Barrington & Countryside Fire Protection District and the Village of Barrington.

 The long-standing relationship between the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District and the village of Barrington is on the fritz, and officials are discussing the possibility of parting ways.

At a joint special meeting of the boards Monday, representatives from both sides used the often heated session to air multiple grievances.

For Barrington Countryside, which contracts its service from the village to serve an area more than 40 square miles around Barrington, frustrations stem from wanting more contractual flexibility to, on their own dime, hire more personnel and buy more equipment.

“Right now, we’re hamstrung,” Barrington Countryside President Tom Rowan said. “We can’t do that.”

The prime example fire district officials point to is their desire to purchase a tender, or a tanker that can haul and shoot water from a cannon. Rowan said Barrington Countryside’s current tender is unfit for use and being retired. Given the district’s absence of fire hydrants, the board wants the go-ahead to buy a replacement.

Village officials, however, say they already authorized the purchase of a smaller tender three years ago and that a bigger piece of equipment isn’t necessary given the district’s lack of fires and numerous mutual-aid agreements with neighboring departments.

Everyone agreed the next step should be for the fire district to draft a letter outlining its requests and reasoning behind them. The current intergovernmental agreement doesn’t expire until the end of 2013, though fire district officials want changes sooner.

If their demands aren’t met, both sides seemed prepared to end the relationship. For Barrington Countryside, that would mean starting its own department or finding another vendor.

“We want to run a department the way we feel it should be run: efficiently and thinking of the taxpayers,” village Trustee Robert Windon said. “If you guys don’t like that, that is perfectly fine. Let us know and at the end of this contract, we’ll all go our separate ways.”

The entire article can be found HERE.

Previous articles which highlight issues between the two governing bodies can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

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