Posts Tagged Harvey Fire Department

Box Alarm fire in Harvey, 12-26-18

The Harvey FD struck a MABAS Box Alarm for fire in a vacant apartment at 147th Street and Vail Avenue Wednesday morning. They had another fire there earlier in the week.

fire tears through a vacant motel

Tim Olk photo

fire tears through a vacant motel

Tim Olk photo

 South Holland FD tower ladder at a fire scene

Tim Olk photo

 South Holland FD tower ladder at a fire scene

Tim Olk photo

fire tears through a vacant motel

Tim Olk photo

tower ladders at work battling a fire

Tim Olk photo

fire destroyed a vacant motel

Tim Olk photo

 South Holland FD tower ladder at a fire scene

Tim Olk photo

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Harvey Fire Department news

Excerpts the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Harvey City Council unanimously approved a repayment agreement Monday with its police and fire pension funds, effectively resolving a months-long dispute over withheld state tax revenues that Harvey claimed had placed it on the brink of financial collapse and forced it to lay off 40 public safety workers.

The agreement, which apportions previously withheld and future tax revenues between the involved parties until the city’s debts are paid in full, resembles an interim pact reached last month as Harvey scrambled to make payroll and pay for essential services.

The Illinois Comptroller has withheld approximately $3.3 million in sales, income, local use, transportation, motor fuel, replacement and excise tax revenues from Harvey since February at the request of its police and fire pension funds. The funds, which claim the city is more than $23 million delinquent in combined pension payments to them, took advantage of a never-before-utilized state law that requires the comptroller to seize a municipality’s state tax revenues when it’s been certified delinquent in making required pension payments.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the release of the withheld funds would enable Harvey to bring back any of the employees it let go in April. Multiple police sources said they had yet to hear anything from the city about it bringing back workers as a result of its pension funding agreement and expressed skepticism that it would happen.

According to the comptroller’s office, Harvey will receive about $1.65 million of the $3.3 million that had been withheld since February, with the remainder split between the police pension fund, the firefighters pension fund and a trustee for city bondholders. The trustee is further directed to pay a portion of the funds it receives to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and both public safety pension funds, according to the deal.

Going forward, the comptroller will distribute 35 percent of state tax revenues earmarked for Harvey to the police and fire pension funds until the debts owed to both funds are paid in full. It would take about six years before the city pays down the full $9 million owed to the police pension fund and even longer before it satisfies the firefighters’ $14.2 million claim, but expressed hope that the funds would eventually be made whole.

The deal also makes the pension funds responsible for appointing an actuary to ensure the tax levies used to fund them are set appropriately, because the city had under-levied previously.

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House fire in Harvey 6-28-18

Harvey FD went to a Box Alarm for a house fire today (5/28/18) at 133 E 144th Court

smoke from house fire

Tim Olk photo

Firefighters enter house on fire

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Firefighters enter house on fire

Tim Olk photo

firefighters pull hose from fire engine

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Firefighters enter house on fire

Tim Olk photo

Firefighter vents window of house fire

Tim Olk photo

firefighters pull hose from fire engine

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Firefighters battle house fire

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Firefighters at house fire

Tim Olk photo

 

more photos at firescenes.net

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Harvey Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from cltv.com:

On Monday, an appellate court granted a temporary restraining order against the Illinois Comptroller’s decision to withhold $1.4 million from the city of Harvey over its underfunded police and fire pensions.

On Friday, 30 emergency responders police officers and firefighters lost their jobs because the suburb couldn’t pay into the fund. The state comptroller stepped in on behalf of the pension fund and began garnishing city money to make up what Harvey was not contributing.

While certainly not the only Illinois municipality to have pension funding problems, Harvey is the first to have its funds withheld by the comptroller according to Harvey mayor Eric Kellogg.

As a result, under Kellogg’s direction as many a total of 40 police and firefighters were laid off in recent days.

But the temporary restraining order believes Harvey Alderman Christopher Clark who is a political foe of Kellogg’s is just that – temporary and a permanent garnishment of funds in court may come to be until and if it can back on solid financial ground.

“As far as the pension is concerned, it’s a bit conflicting because you want the firefighters and police officers to come back but they should have never been laid off in the first place. At the same time you want the pension fund to be able to have its pension but the overarching issue is the mismanagement of funds which got us to this situation in the first place,” Clark said.

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Harvey Fire Department news (more)

Found on Facebook:

Harvey FD lieutenant badge

Excerpts from Chicago.cbslocal.com:

Thirty Harvey police officers and firefighters got their final paychecks on Friday after losing their jobs to layoffs. The layoffs of 18 firefighters and 13 police officers came after a court ordered pension payment Harvey can’t afford to make.

The people of Harvey have already been worried about their city’s financial crisis. Now they’re worried about their own safety. 

The attorney for the police and firefighter unions said in the worst case of municipal management he’s ever seen, the city hasn’t been funding those pensions properly or at all in the past 10 years.

In Springfield this week, new legislation was proposed that would consolidate municipal fire and police pension funds, as well as create some oversight for those investments.

 

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Harvey Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from abc7chcago.com:

The Harvey Firemens Association IAFF Local 471 said the city has laid off half the fire department after the city was ordered to pay its police and fire pension fund. The issue has been a longstanding problem with the fire and police pension funds. After failing to make payments for more than a decade, the city recently began contributing to the pension funds again.

But per state law, Comptroller Susana Mendoza is currently withholding more than $1 million in revenues due to the city to make sure the pension fund is paid. City officials are crying foul, saying the city’s collection rates on property taxes are not enough to sustain government operations, and they need those state funds to operate. But Monday, a judge agreed with the state and the money will be on hold to deal with the pension problem.

The union posted about it on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, saying, “The city has laid off 18 firefighters, half the fire department is gone! Prayers for the citizens and families of those laid off.”

Harvey officials held an emergency meeting Monday night with city employees and warned there could be major layoffs due to lack of funds. Officials argue the city has engaged with negotiations with police and fire officials with no resolution.

Tuesday morning, Harvey officials were speaking with the state comptroller’s representatives. The Harvey comptroller said pensions will not be sustainable going forward and Harvey’s city attorney said the city is planning on filing appeal to stop the state from withholding funds. Officials say employees will be paid on Friday, but after that, no one knows if they can pay their bills.

A spokesperson for the comptroller’s office said in a statement Monday, “The legislature passed a law allowing pension funds to certify to our office that municipalities have failed to make required payments to pension funds. The municipality has a chance to respond. A judge ruled today in favor of the Harvey Police Pension Fund, saying the funds were appropriately put on hold. This dispute is between the pension fund and the city of Harvey.”

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Harvey Fire Department news

Excerpts from wgntv.com:

Firefighters and police officers in Harvey were called to city hall Monday night and told that layoffs are possible. The main issue is underfunded pensions dating back to 1996.

Mayor Eric Kellogg blames the state comptroller’s office for withholding funds in a manner that hasn’t been done since 1861, but local Alderman Christopher Clark said the mayor is  using the comptroller as a scapegoat and that he believes what’s happening here with Kellogg and his son’s administration rises to the criminal level.

thanks Dan

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Working fire in Harvey, 1-20-18

Photos by Tim Olk of a  house fire at 190 W 157th Street in Harvey, 1/20/18

house engulfed in fire

Tim Olk photo

house engulfed in fire

Tim Olk photo

heavy fire from house fie

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heavy smoke from house fire

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firefighter on ladder with heavy smoke

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house engulfed in fire

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firefighter on ladder with flames

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firefighter on ladder with flames

Tim Olk photo

firefighter on ladder with flames

Tim Olk photo

firefighter on ladder with heavy smoke

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heavy smoke from house fire

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fire engine engulfed in smoke

Tim Olk photo

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Harvey Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

The death of a woman in a house fire early Wednesday in Harvey has been ruled a homicide.

Firefighters responded about 4 a.m. to the house fire in the 14800 block of Leavitt Avenue, and within 15 minutes of firefighters’ arrival, the woman was found in the rear of the home. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy Thursday found the woman, whose identity wasn’t released, died of multiple injuries from an assault and the house fire, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Her death was rule a homicide.

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Harvey Fire Department news

Excerpts from cltv.com:

Harvey firefighters received a call about a fire near 148th and Leavitt Avenue around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

A woman was discovered with a gunshot wound to the head. She was found in a back bedroom. She was believed to be older than 60. Her identity hasn’t been released. Officials believe the fire started after the woman was shot.

The house is a total loss.

A person of interest is in custody and it’s being investigated as a domestic incident.

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