Will voters eliminate Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District?

The Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District halted fire and emergency medical service operations in October.

Now it falls to voters to decide whether to pound the final nail in the coffin by passing a referendum to formally dissolve the 45-year-old district.

Whether voters back the measure or not in the March 19 primary election, the Mount Prospect Fire Department is the now the main provider of fire and emergency medical services within the district, which served about 5,000 residents in mostly unincorporated areas northwest of O'Hare International Airport.

By July, the fire department is expected to begin operating out of the fire district’s former headquarters at 1415 E. Algonquin Road, which has an Arlington Heights mailing address but was annexed into Mount Prospect in 2016. To provide Mount Prospect with the funds to operate, village trustees recently voted to establish a special taxing district for the area.

If voters reject the referendum, legislation sponsored by state Rep. Martin Moylan, a Democrat from Des Plaines, could dissolve the district if passed and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Meanwhile, legal issues and matters affecting fire protection in the district’s territory remain up in the air.

On the legal front, Mount Prospect and Elk Grove Township are asking a court to block the appointment of fire district Trustee Dawn Jablonski as receiver to manage and wind up the district’s affairs.

In court documents, attorneys for the village and township say Jablonski, and her husband, fellow Trustee James Jablonski “frequently have been adversarial in their dealings with the village.”

Members of the Mount Prospect Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4119 met Monday with Mount Prospect leaders about concerns they have in adding the former fire district territory to their coverage area. Among the issues, they say, is spreading the fire department’s resources thin at a time when calls for service are increasing.

“Our concern from the beginning has just been a safety issue, not only for us, but also for the residents of Mount Prospect,” union President Matthew Takoy said.

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