Posts Tagged Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote

Rolling Meadows discusses rebuilding fire stations (more)

Excerpts from the

Rolling Meadows could purchase property less than a mile from its existing fire station on Plum Grove Road for the second of two proposed fire stations.

The city plans to offer $800,000 for 42,246 square feet of land at 2320 and 2350 Hicks Road, just west of Route 53 and north of Kirchoff Road. On Tuesday, the city council voted 4-3 in a first reading vote to authorize the purchase. A final, second reading vote is scheduled for Oct. 24.

The land deal would be the second piece to the fire department’s controversial $9 million plan to relocate both city firehouses, aimed at improving response times and reducing fire risk throughout town.

Last month, the council voted 4-2 to buy land for $1.3 million at 3201 Algonquin Road on the south side of town. The 77,195-square-foot site is where a new station would be built to replace the aging downtown Station 15 at 3111 Meadow Drive. While Station 15 would move south, Station 16 at 2455 S. Plum Grove Road would move slightly east.

The plan has rankled residents and aldermen that would lose a fire station close to them.

As architectural drawings are still being completed, the earliest construction could begin to replace Station 15 is next spring, with completion 18 months later.

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Rolling Meadows discusses rebuilding fire stations (more)

Excerpts from the

Rolling Meadows has identified land on Algonquin Road for one of two proposed city fire stations.

The city council will vote Tuesday night on a purchase and sale contract for a 77,195-square-foot site at 3201 Algonquin Road, where the former Woo Lae Oak Korean restaurant has stood vacant for three years.

Aldermen will take a first reading vote to authorize spending $1.3 million for the land, owned by Judicial Drive Property Holdings, LLC. A final, second reading vote is scheduled for Sept. 26.

The council will also vote on an ordinance amending city zoning code to allow fire stations within T-1 and T-2 office zoning districts. The Algonquin Road site is within the T-1 district.

If approved, the land purchase would lead to construction of a new Station 15. It would replace the aging downtown station at 3111 Meadow Drive.

The city’s other firehouse, Station 16 at 2455 S. Plum Grove Road, would be replaced with a new station to the east, as part of the fire department’s relocation plan aimed at improving response times and reducing fire risk throughout town.

Tuesday’s vote is significant, since the city’s elected officials have been debating whether to move and/or build fire stations for more than a decade. Though new Mayor Len Prejna supports replacing only Station 15, the newly-seated council took a 4-2 informal straw vote in June to proceed with plans to replace both stations.

Critics have said the estimated $9 million cost to acquire properties and build two new stations is too much.

Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote said that number — calculated two years ago — is still a target, but inflation may increase the price.

Aldermen have been meeting in closed session since January to consider about a dozen sites for the two new stations, leading to Tuesday’s planned open session vote on the Algonquin Road site. The location is about a half-mile from where the city considered building a third fire station. The council decided to build that station in 2014 but reversed course the next year and decided to remain with two stations but in new locations.

Negotiations, meanwhile, continue to acquire land for the second station.

Franzgrote said it would be ideal to build both stations and have them open at the same time, but the property acquisition process for the second site may not make that possible.

The earliest construction could begin for the new Station 15 is next spring, with completion 18 months later, Franzgrote said.

The council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at 3600 Kirchoff Road.

thanks Dan

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Rolling Meadows FD creates new position

Excerpts from the Daily Herald:

Rolling Meadows on Tuesday created a new position of fire marshal, but officials said it would not cost the city any additional money.

The move is one to clean up city codes and put an actual person in charge of fire code enforcement, a job that has previously fallen to the fire chief, said Chief Scott Franzgrote.

City Manager Barry Krumstock said the move — which allows him to appoint a fire marshal, won’t result in any new personnel. Likely an employee who is shared by the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and the Rolling Meadows Fire Department will be moved into the role.

There is no intention to provide additional salary for the position, Krumstock said. According to the ordinance that was passed on Tuesday, any salary associated with the position would require city council approval via resolution.

The fire marshal will be in charge of fire code enforcement and other fire prevention bureau duties and will work with homeowners making changes to their residences as well as businesses in the city to ensure they are meeting fire codes.

Previously the codes referenced a fire marshal, but Rolling Meadows didn’t have anyone in such a position, Franzgrote said.

“This is going to allow us to expand our resource-sharing agreements with the Palatine Fire Department and the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District,” Franzgrote said. “This also helps the business community have an easily identifiable contact to reach out to with any questions.”

thanks Dan

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Rolling Meadows discusses third fire station

The Daily Herald has an article about the Rolling Meadows city council supporting a third fire station:

After a decade of discussion and contradictory decisions, the Rolling Meadows City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to direct staff members to work on plans for a third fire station and rebuild the old downtown station where it stands.

In a report to the council, Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote said he could move the three-person fire engine from the station at 3111 Meadow Drive to a new one on Algonquin Road and keep the two-person ambulance downtown. No additional staffing would be needed, he said.

Mayor Tom Rooney said he supports building the third station rather than the council’s controversial decision in April to move both of the current stations. He added that building a third station will cost less in the short run but could be more expensive in the long run.

The downtown station needs considerable work, the council agrees. The second station at 2455 Plum Grove Road is newer.

Rough estimates show a new, small station could be built for as little as $650,000, and a more expansive one for as much as $2.5 million, Franzgrote said. The city owns land on Algonquin between Meadowbrook and Weber drives.

The third station would be built with the goal of speeding response time in the southern part of the city where older multifamily buildings represent the highest risk of serious fire.

Franzgrote had presented the idea of moving both current stations to provide more equal protection throughout the city after the council made it clear it did not support building a third station. The idea of a third station came up in 2004, but in 2010 the council rejected a grant toward building at the Algonquin site, saying the city could not afford the staffing and equipment.

thanks Dan

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Rolling Meadows renews discussions of a third fire station

The Daily Herald has an article about renewed discussions of a third fire station in Rolling Meadows.

The Rolling Meadows City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to investigate building a small third fire station on Algonquin Road after it voted by the same margin a month ago to move its two existing fire stations so response times in the city would be more equitable.

[Alderman] D’Astice, who represents the 6th Ward, asked the council to “investigate and discuss the option of constructing a one-vehicle building on the land the city owns on Algonquin Road (at 2301 Algonquin).”

Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote recommended moving the two existing fire stations because a study showed the response time to the multifamily homes along Algonquin Road was too long. These older buildings are also the areas most susceptible to serious fires, he said. Much of this area is in D’Astice’s ward.

But the council had told Franzgrote that a third station was not an option. In 2010 the council rejected a grant toward building a third station at the Algonquin site on grounds the city could not afford the staffing and equipment.

D’Astice said before the meeting that Franzgrote could decide the type of vehicle stationed on Algonquin. It could be an ambulance or a fire truck that carries emergency medical equipment, he said. All of the city’s firefighters are also trained as paramedics.

Cost is the issue in this debate. Residents are so upset that a preliminary council vote favored two new stations at an estimated cost of about $9 million, said D’Astice, that they might put the issue on the November ballot. Aldermen agreed the two fire stations would probably fail in that case.

But Mayor Tom Rooney and Alderman Brad Judd of the 4th Ward, who often disagree, maintained that in the long run adding a third station could be more expensive than two new stations. Besides staffing and equipment costs, there could be moves to enlarge the station or add personnel, they said.

Residents and officials who note the city would have to buy land for the new stations don’t “recognize we can also sell property to offset the cost,” Rooney said.

A potential rift among supporters of two new stations arose, with aldermen saying the second station, at 2455 Plum Grove Road, might not be moved for several years. Rooney said he would not support the plan unless that station is moved relatively quickly.

He said that would be necessary to provide adequate coverage to northern parts of the city after moving the downtown station. The council agrees the older downtown station at 3111 Meadow Drive needs to be repaired or replaced soon.


thanks Dan

Previous posts are HERE and HERE.

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A new fire station for Rolling Meadows is still on the table

The Daily Herald has an article about discussions in Rolling Meadows about finances and new fire stations:

Rolling Meadows’ bond rating rose significantly late last year, which could make it easier to borrow money if the city decides to build one or two new fire stations, Mayor Tom Rooney told the Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce during his annual State of the City address Monday. Standard & Poor’s gave the city a AA+ rating, with a stable note that means the positive trend in the city’s finances is expected to continue, Rooney said. That is up from last year’s A+.

“The work that we’ve done to bring the debt level down means that we could (borrow),” Rooney said in response to a question about how the city would pay for one or two new fire stations.

The city reduced its debt level to 44 percent of its annual budget, compared with 65 percent not long ago, he said. On the other hand, the city’s cash on hand has risen from 12 percent to 31 percent of the budget in about 18 months.

Rooney displayed a map showing that the city’s largest threat of serious fires is in older multifamily residences. They are concentrated on both sides of Route 53 between the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) and Algonquin Road, and on the east side of Route 53 between Central and Algonquin. Moving the 50-year-old downtown fire station from 3111 Meadow Drive to the area of Wilke and Central roads would put those homes within the desired four- to six-minute response time, he said.

It also would mean ideally the second station at 2455 Plum Grove Road should move east to the vicinity of Kirchoff Road and Route 53. “Moving a fire station is a political football no matter how it’s sliced and diced,” Rooney said. “Nobody wants to see a fire station moving any further from them. It’s at the heart of what people fear for their safety.”

Aldermen have said the downtown station is in deplorable condition, and the city council has committed to making a decision on the future of the fire stations in April. Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote has said building two new stations could cost up to $9 million.

thanks Dennis

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