Mount Prospect to pay fire district almost $2 million

Mount Prospect has agreed to pay the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District nearly $2 million over the next three years.

The state requires the village to pay the fire protection district a five-year prorated tax levy payment for newly annexed properties formerly served by the district.

But trustees on Tuesday agreed an accelerated three-year plan presented to the board by Fire Chief Brian Lambel, under which the village would provide payments of $665,000 to the district for each of three years.

The agreement, which has also been approved by the fire district's board, precludes court proceedings between the village and the district, Lambel said.

Last year, the village annexed the Lynn Court, Addison Court, Busse Road, East of Creek, Malmo Drive, Nordic Road and Carboy Road territories, as well as the United Airlines property. Before to the annexation, the fire district contracted with American Fire and Rescue to provide emergency services.

"This provides financial stability to the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District to be able to operate for the next three years," Lambel said.

Under the agreement, the Mount Prospect Fire Department still will provide continuing education to Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District paramedics, while the district will continue to provide mutual aid to Mount Prospect. In addition, both parties agreed to establish a long-term plan for fire protection services to the unincorporated areas.

For several years, the fire protection district expressed concerns over Mount Prospect's annexations, warning that they would erode the district's tax base to the point where it would eventually face extinction. Lambel said the village has been in discussions with district Chief Michael Nelson and two members of the district's board.

"Our goal," he said, "is to provide options for the district on the future of the incorporated areas and the fire department as a whole."

Mayor Arlene Juracek said the village does not want to "unduly burden those remaining customers" of the district and wants to find "a fair method of being able to serve everybody without causing undue cost burdens or undue procedural burdens."

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