Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Mundelein and Libertyville will share a tower ladder in what officials says is a common-sense way to improve efficiency and lower costs for taxpayers in both towns.

Under terms of an agreement approved Monday by the Mundelein village board and expected to be accepted in Libertyville, the Libertyville tower ladder would be available to Mundelein for an annual fee that will offset maintenance and future replacement costs.

Mundelein’s tower ladder is not past its prime and doesn’t need replacement, but the move will provide the department and village with options, according to Deputy Chief Chief Bill Lark.

The agreement depends on Mundelein’s ability to sell, lease, or trade their ladder truck.

Under terms of the five-year pact, Mundelein would pay $14,000 for the first year with an annual increase of 3 percent thereafter. Libertyville’s truck and trained personnel would be needed about five times a year. The villages provide automatic mutual aid for structure fires through a separate 2015 agreement.

Libertyville Fire Chief Rich Carani said the villages have been talking about a number of options for about two years in an era of tight budgets and desire to make tax dollars stretch.

 Ladder trucks have fairly long life spans because they don’t drive as many miles as engines. But a new one costs $1.3 million or more.

“When looking at operational use versus cost, fuel, and associated maintenance to keep a vehicle like this operational, it makes more sense to share these types of assets,” said Eric Guenther, Mundelein’s public safety director.

Libertyville is only 2 miles farther from the Mundelein’s primary high-rise, most commercial properties and can access the east side of the village without being blocked by railroad tracks.

Libertyville’s truck is 18 years old and on a 25-year rotation to be replaced. But the village is considering refurbishing it to add up to 10 years to its life at a considerably lower cost than buying new.

thanks Ron