Posts Tagged voters approve fire district referendum

Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District news

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The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District has gotten the thumbs-up to borrow $13 million for new equipment and an additional station.

Unofficial results show 1,912 people voted “yes” and 1,421 people voted “no,” with all 25 Kane County precincts reporting and two of three DuPage County precincts. Final results won’t be available until after July 12, which is the last day vote-by-mail ballots can be counted.

The district wants to use the money to pay off old debt, buy new vehicles and equipment, and eventually build a third fire station. That station would be on land the district already owns, at Crane and Bolcum roads in St. Charles Township.

District officials said response times in the 38-square-mile district are faster on its east and west sides, where the two existing stations operate — one in Wasco, one near Wayne. The third station would provide equity districtwide. Currently, average response times districtwide are 7 to 8 minutes, but it can take 10 minutes for rescue workers to get to the center of the district.

The district intends to put aside $5 million of the $13 million bond proceeds toward the construction of the station, which officials said likely won’t be built until at least 2025.

The district would use $5 million for equipment and vehicles, and the rest of the money would go to pay off the debt for the construction of the two existing stations.

If the district gets to borrow the $13 million, officials estimate that the owner of a house with a market value of $300,000 would pay $130.27 more in taxes a year. District officials said they intend to pay off the bonds in 10 years.

The district serves residents in the villages of Campton Hills and Wayne and unincorporated areas in St. Charles and Campton townships. It used to hire the St. Charles Fire Department to handle its calls, but in 2011 decided to start doing the work itself. Since then, voters have rejected tax-rate increases six times.

thanks Rob

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Antioch First Fire Protection District news

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A referendum to raise an additional $1.87 million annually for the Antioch First Fire Protection District returned to Tuesday’s primary ballot, and it earned approval.

With all precincts reporting by about 9 p.m. Tuesday, 1,615 voters approved the measure while 1,324 voted against it, unofficial results showed. Totals don’t include votes cast early, by mail or provisional ballots.

One primary need for the funds, Fire Chief Jon Cokefair said, is that Antioch medics make $53,000 a year compared to the $68,900 average in Lake County.

The annual tax bill for a $200,000 home will increase by about $176 annually. Residents won’t see any increase until next June when 2022 taxes are due.

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Warrenville Fire Protection District news

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Voters approved a property tax increase that will allow the Warrenville Fire Protection District to hire new firefighters, according to Tuesday’s unofficial election results. With 100% of precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed 1,189 (64%) votes in favor and 667 votes (36%) against a tax hike. The plan will increase the property taxes homeowners pay to the district by $33 per $100,000 of a home’s value. The median price of a home in the district is $245,100.

The tax increase will raise roughly $570,000 a year in additional revenue for the district that includes Warrenville and unincorporated areas near Wheaton and Naperville. District officials said that money will be used to hire more firefighters for the department, which has experienced a roughly 23 percent increase in emergency calls since 2014.

Currently, the department has six firefighters per shift. With the tax increase, the district will be able to increase its daily staffing to eight firefighters per shift.

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Hampshire Fire Protection District news (more)

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With the approval of a referendum to set a tax rate that would add $236,000 to the Hampshire Fire Protection District’s budget, officials are looking to add staff and replace outdated vehicles.

Deputy Fire Chief Trevor Herrmann said the district has taken more than 1,200 calls this year, about 200 of which occurred when the crew was handling multiple calls at once. With the referendum’s passage, the district will increase its personnel levels from four firefighter/paramedics to five every shift starting June 1.

The district will be looking to add between three and five new crew members.

Any revenue left over will go toward the replacement of one of the district’s ambulances and fire engines. The district’s secondary ambulance is 11 years old, while its secondary fire engine is 21 years old.

These investments will not come without a cost to taxpayers. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the new tax rate would amount to an estimated $67 increase in the fire district’s portion of his or her property tax bill. The referendum narrowly advanced in the primary election, winning by a margin of only three votes, 552-549. It then received about 52 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Leading up to the election, School District 300 put its support behind the referendum because of its strong partnership with the fire protection district and the reliability it has shown to students and staff.


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Greater Round Lake FPD news (more)

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Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District’s request to borrow $4.5 million to modernize facilities and equipment. Now, the district is putting the money to use.

The district asked to borrow the money primarily to modernize and maintain fire stations. Among the concerns district officials hope to address is the outdated, inefficient layout of Station 1, which was built in 1946. Currently, the crew stays in a converted space on the second floor, far from the apparatus. They want to redesign the building so they can have the crew quarters next to the apparatus bay to speed up response times and eliminate a potentially dangerous middle-of-the-night rush from the beds to the trucks.

District officials had already hired an architect to help estimate the cost of the Station 1 plan. Now that the money is on its way they will form a committee and devise a plan. They will tackle projects that don’t involve construction first, including putting a new roof on Station 3 and upgrading the sleeping quarters in Station 2.

The district already has a head start on ordering a new truck funded by the $4.5 million. They went out to bid and, with voters’ approval, the work to custom build the truck will begin.

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