Posts Tagged Knollwood Fire Department is going away

Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Fire protection and emergency services for residents of the Rockland Fire Protection District are now officially the responsibility of Lake Forest and Libertyville, following a failed attempt by supporters of the Knollwood Fire Department to prevent the new agreement from going into effect.

Earlier this month, the towns of Lake Forest and Libertyville began providing the fire and emergency services to residents of RFPD through an intergovernmental agreement with the district and the municipalities and the Libertyville Fire Protection District. Previously, the residents of RFPD, which includes the unincorporated area of Knollwood and the Sanctuary housing complex in Lake Bluff, received those services from the Knollwood Fire Department. Under the new arrangement, Libertyville will oversee the northern half of the RFPD, Lake Forest the southern half.

On Sept. 27, the Friends of Knollwood Fire Department filed a temporary restraining order in Lake County Circuit Court, hoping to stop the intergovernmental agreement from going into effect, however Judge Margaret Marcouiller denied the temporary restraining order, stating there was no likelihood of success on the merits. On Oct. 11, the case was continued to Thursday.

For now, the Knollwood Fire Department has stopped operations. In the first week of the new arrangement, Lake Forest Fire Chief Peter Siebert reported one call came in from the RFPD and Libertyville Fire Chief Rich Carani said they had two.

Lake Forest anticipates responding to about 120 calls per year from the RFPD, and Libertyville is expecting approximately the same amount.

 

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Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Rockland Fire Protection District board has decided to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Lake Forest and Libertyville to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the district’s residents. On Aug. 31, the RFPD board voted 2-1 to move into the agreement.

Starting Oct. 1, Libertyville may be providing fire protection and emergency medical services to the northern of the half of the district which includes the unincorporated area of Knollwood and the Sanctuary housing complex in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest would be responsible for the southern portion of the district.

Currently Libertyville provides ambulance service to RFPD residents, but fire protection and emergency medical services are the responsibility of the Knollwood Fire Department.

Under the agreement, the RFPD would pay a total of $262,500 – split between Lake Forest and Libertyville – on a prorated, quarterly basis until April 30, 2019. From May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020, the quarterly charge will be $450,000 – split between the two communities and then increases up to $496,000 for the next 12-month period.

For the rest of the agreement, which slated to run through September 2038, the annual increase would be tied into changes in the Consumer Price Index.

“Looking at it in terms of a long-term solution for providing services, I think it is a good choice at this time,” said RFPD board member Bob Grum said at the Aug. 31 meeting Dan Rogers, the RFPD president believes this deal is better for the approximately 1,700 residents within the RFPD. He said RFPD now spends $640,000 per year on the services.

However, RFPD board member Karl Snoblin dissented. “I find it unacceptable,” Snoblin said. “It binds the district to make set payments regardless of any other factors such as poor quality service, a decrease in the size of the district or declining district revenues.”

If the agreement goes into place, it could mean the end of the Knollwood Fire Department, a hybrid group of roughly 40 volunteers and paid-per-shift employees.

Jon Harlow, the Knollwood Fire Department chief, does not believe the service will be as good with the response teams coming from the two nearby larger municipalities. “There are numerous times when our department is backing up Lake Forest and Libertyville where we have been first in on incidents in their communities,” Harlow said. “This will have a domino effect: it will have an increase in response times with less personnel.”

The RFPD vote capped off a tumultuous few days that started on Aug. 21 when the RFPD board met at Lake Forest’s Gorton Community Center and, following approximately 2.5 hours of testimony, the board voted to table consideration of the plan. Then the issue was pushed back again until Aug. 31. In the meantime, a group of Knollwood residents known as the Friends of Knollwood Fire, which supports the Knollwood Fire Department, filed a lawsuit with the Lake County Circuit Court. After previously indicating they would withdraw the lawsuit, they now plan to proceed.

“We are looking at all laws pertaining to fire districts and fire service. Now that they have done something which is voting to approve that contract so we have very specific things to look for,” said Ed Whitehead, a Friends of Knollwood Fire spokesman.

Also needing to agree to the arrangement is the Libertyville Fire Protection District because of an existing relationship where Libertyville provides fire and ambulance service to that area. The LFPD includes portions of Mettawa, Green Oaks and other segments of Libertyville Township. It remains unclear when the LFPD would vote on the agreement. Officials with LFPD did not return calls seeking comment.

thanks Dennis

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Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Libertyville and Lake Forest will absorb the Knollwood Fire Department and begin providing services within its jurisdiction Oct. 1. Knollwood is a 50-member all volunteer department serving an area of less than 1 square mile situated between Shields and Libertyville townships. It includes 668 homes, about 1,800 residents, and responds to about 535 emergency calls annually.

For the past two years, the three-person Rockland Fire Protection District board, which is the fire department’s governing and taxing body, has discussed other ways of providing service with neighboring departments.

“Basically, the Rockland Fire Protection District will become a paper district and they’ll contract their services with Libertyville and Lake Forest,” which will split the area geographically, according to Libertyville Fire Chief Rich Carani. Nothing will change in terms of manpower or equipment for Libertyville, but Lake Forest will be interviewing Knollwood firefighters for paid on premises positions.

On Tuesday, the Libertyville village board approved a 20-year intergovernmental pact for fire and EMS services to Knollwood. The village has been providing ambulance service since May 2015. Lake Forest approved the agreement Sept. 4 and the Libertyville Fire Protection District board did so on Monday. That district is party to the agreement because it owns the main station for response.

Last December, the communities tendered a joint proposal from Libertyville and Lake Forest. On Aug. 31, the Rockland board approved the agreement but asked the annual contract amount be revised from $472,537 to $450,000, which was done. The amount will be split by Lake Forest and Libertyville. It will increase to $496,000 on May 1, 2020. The Libertyville Fire Protection District will receive 22.5 percent of Libertyville’s share.

Rockland’s annual budget had been about $640,000.

thanks Dan and Keith

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