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posted: 11/26/2013 5:30 AM

Fox River & Countryside fire district planning tax levy hike

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A property tax increase is one month away from becoming a reality for the roughly 20,000 residents of Kane and DuPage counties who receive fire and emergency medical services from the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District.

District trustees voiced unanimous approval for a tax levy increase of 2.38 percent more than the current levy. That would rake in about $2.25 million for the district in its next fiscal year, $54,000 more than the previous levy.

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Trustees will have a new, third fire station to operate in the next fiscal year and are looking to add firefighter/paramedics to the day staff to improve service.

The proposed tax increase would see the owner of a $300,000 home pay about $5 a year more in taxes to the fire district.

District trustees must take one more vote at their Dec. 16 meeting before locking in the tax levy increase.

Trustees are also increasing a number of fees the district charges for various services. For example, all district residents who must be extricated from a vehicle after a traffic accident will now be charged $400 instead of $350. Nondistrict residents will be charged a different rate of $600 for the first time.

On the flip side, some fees will be reduced. For instance, the hourly rate for a fire engine to be on scene will now be $150 instead of $300. A full breakdown of fees is available on the district's website.

Concealed carry

Trustees also voted to post signs banning firearms from all district property in advance of Illinois' new concealed carry law, which goes live on Jan. 1. As is already legal, anyone authorized to carry firearms as a government employee will still be allowed to carry a weapon on district property.

"This is strictly for the protection of our department," said district President Jim Gaffney. "The intention here is to install placards saying no guns allowed on the premises. Nobody that works for us is allowed to bring a gun in."

Hike: Trustees also vote in favor of anti-gun signs

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