Mount Prospect settles litigation with defunct fire district, set to take over station

After settling its legal dispute with the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District, Mount Prospect is pursuing plans to occupy the fire district's headquarters in Arlington Heights.

Mount Prospect and Elk Grove Township sued the fire district earlier this year to prevent it from selling assets, including its Station 11 at 1415 E. Algonquin Road, once it ceased fire and emergency services operations. The district formally ended its operations Oct. 1.

Under the settlement, Mount Prospect will receive the fire district's assets, which also includes a tender truck.

"We get the real estate. We get all the equipment as it is," Mount Prospect Finance Director Amit Thakkar said. "And they (the fire district) keep their funds they have as of today with them," as well as revenue they are set to receive from property taxes.

Thakkar said the village hopes to have the real estate deeded from the district by this week.

The fire district, which had been losing revenues and territory as a result of municipal annexations, is taking steps to dissolve. That includes a referendum planned for the March 2024 ballot.

Upon dissolution, Mount Prospect will receive the district's unspent funds.

In the meantime, Mount Prospect officials are evaluating the quality and usefulness of the fire district's remaining equipment and preparing to reopen the station. The village will, according to the agreement, provide fire and emergency medical services to unincorporated Elk Grove Township through July 2024.

"The tender will be staying at Station 11, where it was operating from," Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Cassady said.

Now that the legal dispute is over, Mount Prospect also will move forward with forming a special service area to collect taxes that had been going to the fire district. A hearing has been set for Nov. 7 in Mount Prospect.

The village could have the special service area adopted by January, after which it must receive approval from Cook County. The first taxes could be collected in 2025.

  Elk Grove Township firefighter/EMT Brittney Copano sits in the tanker truck one last time before the agency ceased operations Oct. 1. Mount Prospect is preparing to operate out of the district's fire station at 1415 E. Algonquin Road. Steve Zalusky/
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