Endorsements: Yes on Fox Lake FPD referendum
With a small staff of professional firefighters and decreasing reserves of qualified volunteers, the Fox Lake Fire Protection District has reason to worry about how well it can continue to operate its four fire stations serving a 45-square-mile area from the Wisconsin border to Route 120. Add to that a need to upgrade equipment and a tax rate that hasn't increased in nearly 40 years and one begins to see why the agency is seeking a tax increase. The proposal on the April 7 ballot is significant, boosting the current rate of 0.133 to 0.350, but the need is significant, too, and the actual cost to a homeowner, about $72 per $100,000 in home value, is reasonable. The proposal would raise more than $800,000 a year, enabling the hiring of additional firefighters and the purchase of needed new ambulances. Without it, the district may have to look at further staff cutbacks, closing a station and borrowing to acquire needed equipment. We recommend a "yes" vote.