Archive for September 9th, 2020

Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Facing escalating obligations to police and fire pensions, Peoria city leaders want residents to give direction on a course of action. The city council spent close to 90 minutes during Tuesday’s meeting discussing a plan to place an advisory referendum on the February ballot to gauge interest in implementing Police Protection and Fire Protection taxes.

“By 2023, one out of every nine dollars that you collect in the general fund will be going to cover public safety pension costs – over and above the property tax levies we’re currently showing,” said City Manager Patrick Urich, showing a general fund transfer requirement growing from $4 million this year to $10.6 million. “This is what’s driving us to cut services. This is the structural imbalance that we’re facing.”

Illinois law requires pensions to be 90% funded by 2040 and Peoria currently has $340 million in unfunded obligations. The amount of property tax revenue going toward the city’s general fund for operations has steadily decreased all the way down to nothing.

“There are no property tax dollars that you’re levying that are supporting the general fund operations for public safety, for public works, for community development, or for city hall – zero,” said Urich. He also noted that nearly 85% of the tax levy is covering pension costs.   

Adopting two protection taxes of 7.5 cents per $100 in assessed value would generate about $1.2 million apiece. The council has the authority to implement taxes at that rate without a referendum, but the rates could be increased up to 0.6% with a referendum.

The city had a balanced budget before the pandemic struck. While the council members seemed to favor asking residents to vote on what to do, most indicated they are opposed to higher taxes. The council unanimously voted to bring the referendum proposal back for additional discussion in 30 days.

There was a suggestion of the possibly doubling the $10 million in short-term borrowing the council approved last week in an attempt to save the two fire department engines that would be cut, but the borrowing would need a repayment source, and anything more than an extra $10 million would likely require a property tax increase.

The council decided to revisit the possibility at the next meeting.

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Coal City Fire Protection District news

From the Coal City Fire Protection District Facebook page August 21:

Congratulations to the Coal City Fire Protection District’s new Chief Jim Seerup and Deputy Chief Karl Wexelberg on their appointments and official swearing in on Aug. 20.

Learn more about them and Seerup’s plans for moving the department forward in the Aug. 26 edition of The Courant.

swearing in ceremony for new Coal City fire chiefs

Coal City FPD photo

new Coal City FPD fire chief

Coal City FPD photo

new Coal City FPD deputy fire chief

Coal City FPD photo

swearing in ceremony for new Coal City fire chiefs

Coal City FPD photo

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Wood Dale Fire Protection District history

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr:

Found this on Facebook. X-WoodDale, Illinois 

New Market VFD Tele-Squrt

click to download

1991 Pierce Lance 50' Tele-Squrt

Larry Shapiro photo

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Palatine FD host 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

Palatine FD to host 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

click to download

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