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updated: 12/17/2013 10:25 AM

Fire districts reach deal on Inverness coverage

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The Barrington Countryside and Palatine Rural fire protection districts have reached a deal in their long-stalled negotiations toward an automatic-aid agreement for the west side of Inverness.

Barrington Countryside trustees Monday unanimously approved the pending agreement that would have Palatine Rural automatically respond to that area of their jurisdiction, which is closer to Palatine Rural's fire station than either of their own.

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In exchange, Barrington Countryside will provide a fire engine or water tanker on Palatine Rural calls that require them.

Palatine Rural trustees are scheduled to vote Wednesday, but board President Glenn Grosch said he didn't have any strong doubts of approval.

The agreement, which Inverness Village President Jack Tatooles had long asked for, seemed unlikely for a time due to a deadlock over monetary issues between the two boards.

But it was the respective fire chiefs -- Hank Clemmensen of Palatine Rural and Jeff Swanson of Barrington Countryside -- who broke that deadlock, Grosch said.

"I would say all the credit goes to Swanson and Clemmensen," Grosch said. "The citizens on both sides of the aisle are going to be better off and that's what we trustees are supposed to do."

Tatooles said Monday that he had yet to see the specifics of the agreement but had confidence that the fire chiefs of both districts had the best interest of citizens at heart.

"I can't comment on the details, but it's a step in the right direction," Tatooles said. "Whatever the chiefs of the districts can work out for our residents, I'm all for it."

Though this agreement was finally worked out, another potential deal between Barrington Countryside and the village of Barrington remains stalled.

Neither side Monday expressed much confidence that such a deal would be worked out before Jan. 1, when Barrington Countryside's decades-old contract for service from the village expires and the district runs its own independent fire department for the first time.

Barrington Countryside serves parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

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