Posts Tagged New Lenox Fire Protection District

New Lenox FPD news

Excerpts from the Herald-News.com:

A 49-year-old New Lenox woman was injured Thursday morning after she crashed into an ambulance that was returning from a training program about 11:50 a.m. Thursday near Route 30 and Nelson Road in New Lenox.

Christine Diver was driving west on Route 30 when she tried to turn left and crashed into the New Lenox Fire Protection District’s ambulance, causing a three-car collision. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. No firefighters or other passengers were injured in the crash.

Diver was charged with driving an uninsured vehicle, failing to yield, and driving with a suspended license.

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

New Lenox Fire Station #2 was expected to reopen Wednesday after village trustees agreed to loan $450,000 to the area’s fire protection district. The station at 1205 N. Cedar Road was closed March 30 after a referendum for tax rate increase failed to pass in the March 20 primary by 212 votes.

The New Lenox Fire Protection District board approved the intergovernmental agreement at its April 16 meeting, and village trustees took action Monday.  The loan, which has no specific deadline for paying it back, will cover the cost of personnel from now until the end of this year and will keep the station open until Jan. 1, 2019. The station will be fully staffed, and many of the 12 firefighters who were laid off last month will return though some have found other jobs.

According to the agreement, the fire district will begin repaying the no-interest loan for $50,000 annually for nine years if voters approve a tax hike. The fire district plans to place another referendum on the November ballot, but Riegel said the amount has not been determined.

The chief also said fire officials are working with an accounting firm to determine what type of service the district can sustain at its current tax rate, how it can build up reserves and be able to buy new equipment, if needed.

At its March 19 meeting – the day before the primary election – the fire board voted to borrow $750,000 in Tax Anticipation Warrant to cover payroll and expenses until tax revenues arrive in June.

When village trustees discussed the loan at its April 9 meeting, officials said then that the public did not realize that a failed referendum would force the closure of a fire station.

The district was seeking to raise the tax from 38 to 59 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation for a four-year period – 2018-2021, adding about $70 per year to the tax bill of a $100,000 home. It was the fifth time it tried and failed to get voters to approve a rate hike.

thanks Dan

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news (more)

This from Martin Nowak:

Station on Cedar road closed down like stated in previous posts.

fire station closed for lack of funding

Martin Nowak photo

fire station closed for lack of funding

Martin Nowak photo

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Herald-News.com:

New Lenox firefighters responded just before 5:10 p.m. Wednesday for a reported structure fire near the intersection of Hickory Street and Vine Street. Heavy fire could be seen coming from the back of a four-unit apartment building. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 10 minutes. The fire was contained to one unit.

One individual was hospitalized after the incident, and the fire’s cause was under investigation Wednesday night.

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new Lenox Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The New Lenox Fire Protection District is negotiating a deal with the village to reopen the fire station that closed Friday because of budget cuts following a failed referendum for a tax rate hike. Fire officials said they have no choice but to ask voters again for a rate hike in the November general election.

New Lenox Fire Chief Adam Riegel and Mayor Tim Baldermann confirmed that the village and district will consider an intergovernmental agreement in their upcoming meetings this month in which the village will provide the fire district with a no-interest loan until the end of the year to reopen Station #2 at 1205 N. Cedar Road.

Under the proposed plan, the village would loan the fire district $450,000 to keep the station opened until the end of the year. The village loan would come from money in a property tax refund, which would be a 50 percent refund, instead of 75 percent.

In the March 20 primary, a referendum to increase the fire district’s tax rate to 59 cents from 38 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation was defeated by 212 votes. The fire board also voted to issue $750,000 in Tax Anticipation Warrants and cut four firefighter/paramedic positions.

The village board will review the proposal for the first time at its April 9 meeting and give community chance to discuss it. If the fire board of trustees agrees to it at its April 16 meeting, it could be approved by the village board April 24.

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the New Lenox FPD website:

On March 19th, the New Lenox Fire Protection District Board of Trustees voted to secure a $750,000 Tax Anticipation Warrant to cover the district’s budget deficit. This extra funding will fill the gap between when the district runs out of funds in April and when the next tax revenues are received in June.

Due to the lack of revenue with no sources for new funding, the NLFPD had to make some difficult decisions to keep the district running at a lower cost. To do this, residents will be seeing cuts over the next week to facilities, personnel, and services.

On Friday, March 30th, Station 2, at 1205 N. Cedar Road will be closing its doors until further notice due to a reduction in firefighter/paramedic positions. The district will be cutting 4 positions per shift, which includes both part-time and full-time personnel. Earlier this year, cuts also took place in administration after one employee left, leaving an open position which will not be filled. Other programs that involve using shift personnel and apparatus for long periods of time will also be reduced or eliminated.

The NLFPD has tried to pass referendums to increase the tax rate five times over the past 12 years (2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, and March 2018), knowing this day would eventually come. During this time, the district has cut back on spending and was able to tighten their belts to keep the current situation at bay, but the district can no longer afford to operate at less than half of the budgets of neighboring towns, while giving the same services.

“The residents voted, and without having an end in sight, we had to make the best decisions for our bottom line, and unfortunately, this was our only option,” stated Deputy Chief Dan Turner. “If the NLFPD does not pass a referendum soon to increase our funding, further cuts will happen. Without any additional funding coming our way we will need to keep borrowing money from future taxes and eventually we would owe more than we bring in.”

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Following the defeat of a fifth referendum for a tax rate increase, New Lenox Fire Protection District officials said their only option is to close one of its four fire stations and cut staff.

Station No. 2, which opened in 1970 at 1205 N. Cedar Road, will close Friday until further notice, and result in the reduction of four firefighter/paramedic positions. The district expects to save between $640,000 and $660,000 per year by closing the station.

The fire district board of trustees also voted at its March 19 meeting to issue $750,000 in Tax Anticipation Warrants to cover the district’s budget deficit. This extra funding will fill the gap between April, when the district runs out of funds and June, when property tax revenues are received. 

Nearly all of the district’s revenues comes from property taxes. The current levy is $4.7 million. Other funds come from grants, insurance payments for ambulance service, donations, false alarm fines, and construction plan reviews. Grants and donations provide money for special equipment.

In the March primary, a referendum to increase the fire district’s tax rate from 38 cents to 59 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation was defeated by 212 votes. They will try again for a rate hike in November.

The New Lenox Fire Protection District has not had a tax rate increase since 1989, but has tried to pass referendums five times over the past 12 years, in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014 and March 2018. Since 1989, the population has more than doubled from 16,574 to 42,172 and the number of commercial and industrial buildings also has grown significantly, resulting in an increase in calls, from 890 in 1990, to 4,252 in 2017.

New Lenox Fire Protection District’s 38 cents is the lowest tax rate in the area. It is second to the Frankfort Fire Protection District, with a rate of 80 cents, which generates a levy of $10.6 million. Frankfort had 4,377 calls in 2017.

thanks Dan and Keith

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As seen around … Manhattan

This from Eric Haak:

I took advantage of a slow Saturday (6/17) to go see some rigs that I do not normally get an opportunity to see. Far south suburban Manhattan Fire Protection District was training in a fairly large late-1800’s farm house which is currently owned by the park district. Once the training was over, the old house was burned to the ground. It was kind of an interesting setup as there was a historic round barn which needed to be protected so they had Peotone’s Truck 14 set up and ready just in case of an emergency.

old museum burns to the ground

Eric Haak photo

building fully engulfed in flames

Eric Haak photo

Peotone FPD fire truck

Eric Haak photo

Peotone FPD fire truck

Eric Haak photo

fire trucks at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Frankfort FPD fire truck

Eric Haak photo

Manhattan FPD fire engine

Eric Haak photo

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Deputy Chief Adam Riegel was recently named the new fire chief of the New Lenox Fire Protection District (NLFPD).

He will replace Chief Steve Engledow on June 26. Engledow’s last day with the district will be June 24 after a 45-year career in the fire service with three years as chief in New Lenox.

Riegel will be sworn in as chief at the June 19 district’s board of trustees meeting. He has been in fire service for 18 years, with 14 years in New Lenox.

Riegel was one of two deputy chiefs in the department of 56 people. Deputy Chief Dan Turner will continue in that role, but the department will no longer have two deputy chiefs.

Riegel began working as a volunteer with the Salina Township Fire Protection District in 2000 and became its chief in 2012. In 2003, he started in New Lenox as a firefighter/paramedic and worked his way up to lieutenant and battalion chief before being promoted to deputy chief in 2015 where he oversaw operations

He is on the operations committee for Lincolnway Dispatch Center and is assisting with the transition to the new Laraway Communications Center. He is currently vice president of MABAS 19 and president of the NLFPD Pension Board. 

Riegel has an associates degree in agriculture production and management from Joliet Junior College and a bachelor of science in fire science from Columbia Southern University.

thanks Dan

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New Lenox Fire Production District news

Excerpts from mysuburbanlife.com:

After 45 years in the fire service and three years running the New Lenox Fire Protection District, Steve Engledow will retire June 23.

He was a Joliet firefighter for 28 years and Troy fire chief for five years, said Thursday “it’s time for the younger group to take over.”

He said the Board of Fire Trustees will choose his replacement at a later date, but he will not be involved in the hiring process.

Engledow said he was hired in New Lenox to reorganize the department, splitting some jobs and condensing others while clarifying who some responsibilities were assigned to. He also enacted a line-item budget to control spending each year and implemented an equipment replacement schedule.

Engledow grew up in Harvey and moved to Frankfort when he was 15 – attending Lincoln-Way High School. Getting holiday shifts at an early job required joining the chemical factory’s fire brigade.

After serving as a Country Club Hills firefighter, he became a Joliet firefighter and eventually rose to deputy chief. He also served as a part-time assistant chief for the East Joliet Fire Department before taking over the Troy Fire Protection District.

He advises firefighters beginning their careers to pursue as much education as possible.

Engledow will be moving to South Carolina, where he has owned property for several years.

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Herald-News.com:

New Lenox board trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement Monday to establish a new consolidated 911 center at Will County’s new sheriff’s department complex, which currently is under construction. The Laraway Communications Center, to be included in the new $30 million complex at Laraway Road and Route 52 in Joliet, is expected to serve 31 government agencies. These include New Lenox and the New Lenox Fire Protection District, as well as Romeoville, Frankfort, the county’s sheriff’s department and the agencies served by the EASCOM center.

Heading the new center will be Brad Veerman, who currently is director of the Lincolnway Public Safety Communications Center, which at present services New Lenox. Lincolnway will close once the new center is operational.

The plans for the new center follow an unfunded state mandate effective at the beginning of last year requiring counties with populations between 250,000 and 1 million to consolidate and reduce dispatch centers by half. Will County will now have three centers, including the city of Joliet’s and WESCOM’s new Plainfield center.

Once approval is received from all interested parties, representatives from each of the agencies will meet Feb. 22 and elect an executive board, New Lenox Trustee Dave Smith said. Smith is chairman of the governance committee for the new entity and wrote its bylaws and the intergovernmental agreement.

The executive board will consist of seven members, including three representing police agencies, three representing fire agencies and a seventh member from the sheriff’s office, according to the agreement.

Smith said the village’s share of the annual $5.3 million budget will be $440,000, slightly more than its contribution to the Lincolnway center.

Each member agency’s share will be determined annually according to its volume of calls to the dispatch center. The center will house about 40 to 50 dispatchers and all 31 agencies are expected to be on board before the February meeting.

thanks Dennis

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