Posts Tagged Lockport Township Fire District

Lockport Township FPD wants new fire station (more)

Excerpts from theHerald-News.com:

The Lockport Township Fire Protection District has been around for 121 years, and until a few weeks ago the building that was Station 1 had lasted for almost half that time.

But … the 1959 structure at Seventh and Ninth streets needed to be replaced. Fire trustees and officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for that replacement Friday morning. Construction equipment began moving actual dirt about an hour later. The $3.8 million project is scheduled to be completed in February.

“Some men spent their entire careers working out of that building, many children visited as youngsters including some of our members who would go on to work there,” Firefighters Local 1544 President Jeremiah Gericke said. “There was some sadness as many people came down for a last look, but at the same time the old [station] was not without its issues.”

Fire Chief Dave Skoryi said the old station had insulation and flooding problems, sewer and electrical lines needed to be replaced, most modern equipment was too large to fit in the bay doors and there were no facilities for women firefighters.

The fire district serves 77,000 people in Lockport, Crest Hill and Romeoville. Station 1 typically responds to calls in central Lockport and the northeast section of Lockport Township.

Deputy Fire Chief Frank Blaskey said the engine from Station 1 will operate from Station 4 and the ambulance will be at Station 6 during construction. The Homer Township and Northwest Homer fire districts will also respond for calls near their area.

Lockport Fire District President David Palya said the design of the 7,390-square-foot station will reflect the district’s past while modernizing the structure.

thanks Dennis

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New dispatch center in Will County creates controversey

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Police and fire agencies in western Will County said they feel slighted because the county is building a consolidated dispatch center for 30 agencies in eastern Will County and, if the county is paying for a new center for one group they believe it should pay for all.

The $5 million plan to add the new center when a new Sheriff’s Office facility is built this year is “generous but seriously misguided,” according to a resolution recently passed by the Bolingbrook Village Board.

But Will County officials call it efficient government, and said it is no different than spending money on major road improvements in one part of the county and not the other. Consolidation of dispatch centers has been mandated by the state.

Under a state mandate, Will County has to reduce the number of its dispatch centers from six to three. WESCOM and the City of Joliet will each continue to operate their centers, but the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Lincolnway Communications Center, Romeoville and Eastern Will County Communications Center (EASCOM) will all be consolidated into the new center at Laraway Road and Route 52 … which will include administrative offices for the county’s 911 board, which oversees all the dispatch centers.

Agencies within the Western Will County Communications Center — WESCOM — are expected to follow Bolingbrook’s resolution, which demands an equitable solution, noting that WESCOM, which dispatches calls for 21 police and fire departments from Bolingbrook to Wilmington, took on a $5 million bond issue to pay for its new dispatch center, which opened in 2014 in Plainfield.

The Lockport City Council discussed a resolution at its Wednesday night meeting. Lockport Police Chief Terry Lemming said he is happy the county is heeding a state mandate to consolidate the dispatch centers of 30 agencies to allow for better coordination, calling it a very effective way to do business.

But, on the other hand, he and other city officials are unhappy that Lockport residents, along with residents from all over the county, will have to help pay for the county’s $5 million project.

WESCOM members said the issue is equity not jealousy.

The Homer Township Fire District also is expected to pass a resolution similar to Bolingbrook’s at its May 2 meeting, to get the county’s attention, according to Fire Chief Robert Tutko … But they already have, and if the reaction during Thursday’s county board meeting is any indication, county officials are not likely to fork over any funds to WESCOM.

WESCOM built its own center in 2014 by issuing $5.1 million in bonds over 20 years and each agency is required to pay $271,000 as its share.

Bolingbrook Public Safety Director Tom Ross, said those served by WESCOM are paying twice — once for the WESCOM center, and again through the county’s use of RTA funds to build the new Sheriff’s Office facility.

“This is about being responsible to our taxpayers … We’re just asking for equity,” Ross said.

“No one is guaranteed equity. It’s hard to put a figure on circumstances like this,” said Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn, director of EASCOM, which includes 16 police and fire agencies.

“I don’t complain about what goes on in their half of the county. A majority of Will County money is spent on public works projects out there and not here. I could make the equity claim too, but that’s not how it works,” he said.

“We spend Will County money to benefit residents all over the county, whether it’s for roads or dispatch centers,” Palmer said. “People want efficient government. They want us to work together.”

WESCOM serves 44 percent of the county’s population and 21 police and fire agencies, compared to the new dispatch center, which will serve 33.7 percent of the people and 31 agencies when the three centers are consolidated. Joliet serves 21 percent of the population, but handles one-third of all calls, according to officials.

Rauter and Ross also fear they could lose member agencies to the new center … as … WESCOM was built for growth, and Romeoville residents would be better served by joining.

Currently half of Romeoville is served by Lockport Township Fire District which is part of WESCOM, and the other half by the Romeoville Fire Department. If it were part of WESCOM, it could reduce 3,600 transferred calls each year — about 10 per day, he said.

“But I can’t compete with free,” Rauter said.

Braidwood officials, who are now part of WESCOM, are thinking of moving into the new center, but Rauter hopes to meet with them and “work out their concerns.” Even if Braidwood left, it would still be required to pay its share of WESCOM’s debt for its building, he said.

thanks Dan

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