Barrington revises two fire-aid agreements

Barrington trustees Monday approved two of the four automatic-aid agreements they’ve had to revise with neighboring fire departments due to the village’s coming Jan. 1 split from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

The new agreements reached were those with the Lake Zurich and Long Grove departments.

But Barrington is also aiming to have further agreements soon with both the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and Barrington Countryside itself.

The aid agreements spell out the locations, situations and equipment involved for one department to respond automatically to another’s call — usually driven by whose station is closest.

Though the village of Barrington isn’t starting a new fire department from scratch like the Barrington Countryside District, the ending of the two agencies’ decades-long contract for service is changing the jurisdictional boundaries for both.

The two local governments could no longer agree on the proper amount of staff and equipment to provide for Barrington Countryside’s 48 square miles just outside of Barrington.

The fire district will now take independent responsibility for fire protection and ambulance service for parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington and Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

Barrington Countryside trustees in recent weeks have approved new auto-aid agreements of their own with the Lake Zurich, Long Grove and Fox River Grove fire protection districts.

On the eve of their contractual split, Barrington and Barrington Countryside have found an auto-aid agreement between themselves to be the most time-consuming to negotiate. But Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said Monday he believes the two agencies are getting there.

In contrast, talks aimed at an auto-aid agreement for Palatine Rural to respond to calls in Barrington Countryside’s area of Inverness seem to have broken down completely.

Barrington Countryside rejected a request to give a significant portion of its property tax from Inverness to Palatine Rural, while Palatine Rural has similarly declined three counterproposals, officials said.

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