More information on the discussions between the Village of Barrington and the Barrington & Countryside FPD from the Daily Herald:

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is proposing a new model for continued cooperation with the Barrington Fire Department, rather than breaking off their contractual relationship completely at the end of the year.

Under the proposal, the fire district would lease 18 firefighters from the village of Barrington for two years.

These firefighters — roughly half the amount the district wishes to employ — would work for the district’s new chief and alongside other firefighters contracted from a private firm.

The benefit to the district, according to board President Tom Rowan, is that the experience and expertise of today’s workforce would not be lost.

“One of the appeals is we’d already know we have staff we’re familiar with and who know the area.”

The appeal to the village, he hopes, is that this agreement would have the district pay the full costs of these employees — salaries, insurance and pension benefits.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch recently said that one of the financial pressures the village is feeling from the current contract with the district is that Barrington must pay the long-term pension and disability costs for a workforce much larger than it needs itself.

The district covers a 48-square-mile area just outside Barrington which includes portions of Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

Though a separate tax body, the district has always provided fire and paramedic services to its constituents by contracting for staff from Barrington.

Because the district wants to increase its staffing levels but the village doesn’t, plans have been in progress to end their contractual relationship on Jan. 1. The district’s separation plans have gone as far as opening bids for service from five private firefighter-paramedic firms.

The entire article can be found HERE.

Another article pertaining to the dispute from the Daily Herald:

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Monday took another major step in its journey to independence by opening bids from private firefighter-paramedic firms to replace its contract for service from the Barrington Fire Department in 2014.

But district trustees took no action to approve any of the five Chicago-area firms that applied for the job, and said it was too early to know how their annual costs might be affected by such a change.

Each firm bid on annual costs over three years. Bids for the first year ranged from $2.6 million to $3.9 million.

Each bid was for personnel alone. The district already has stations in Barrington Hills and Lake Barrington, and expects to divide the vehicles it co-owns with the village of Barrington between the two taxing bodies later this year.

The district’s consultant, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association Executive Director Robert Buhs, said the district is closely adhering to the timeline for the transition which was laid out in January. A list of 127 tasks is being systematically checked off, including hiring an interim administrator in July.

Buhs said he was recently contacted by Barrington about the possibility of signing an automatic-aid agreement in which both agencies would respond to each other’s calls based on proximity.

District trustees appeared both bemused and amused by this as they considered their communication with the village to be lacking.

“It appears (Barrington officials are) doing the agreement and then giving it to us to sign, which seems very unrealistic,” district Trustee Tom Long said.

Fellow Trustee Paul Heinze suggested it could be made No. 128 on the district’s priority list.

This complete article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris

We have had multiple post on this topic which can be traced back through the most recent article.