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updated: 10/22/2013 12:31 AM

Barrington fire district reaching aid agreements

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Preparing to run their own independent fire department on Jan. 1, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District trustees Monday discussed pending automatic-aid agreements with their neighbors and the potential site of a third station of their own.

Among the evening's accomplishments were the approvals of new auto-aid agreements with the Lake Zurich and Long Grove fire departments.

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These agreements identify the circumstances, locations and particular equipment involved for one department to automatically respond to the other's calls.

Negotiations are under way with the fire departments of Fox River Grove, East Dundee, Palatine, Carpentersville, Hoffman Estates and Barrington for further auto-aid agreements hoped to be approved on Nov. 4.

It is the Barrington Fire Department from which the Barrington Countryside Fire District is separating on Jan. 1 after contractually receiving service from it for decades.

Both agencies could no longer agree on the amount of personnel and equipment needed to serve the district's 48-square-mile area, which includes parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington and Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

A previously discussed auto-aid agreement that Barrington Countryside trustees said they're no longer pursuing is one that would give the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District primary responsibility for the west side of Inverness.

Such an agreement was requested by Inverness Village President Jack Tatooles.

Earlier Monday, Palatine Rural board President Glen Grosch said Tatooles had expressed optimism that such an agreement was negotiable.

"I will share in his optimism," Grosch said.

The two fire districts disagreed over Palatine Rural's request for a significant portion of west Inverness's property taxes for fire protection in exchange for service from its closer station.

Barrington Countryside trustees are also looking again for a possible location for a third station of their own. Such a station had been mulled for the area around Lake-Cook and Ridge roads in Barrington Hills. But trustees said the new and pending auto-aid agreements with surrounding departments might make a different location better to improve response times.

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