South Elgin fire district tax increase, building requests approved
South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District voters Tuesday approved borrowing $10 million to build two new fire stations.
They also agreed to increase taxes to pay for more staff and equipment.
Voters faced two referendum questions -- one asking permission to borrow money and the other seeking a hike in the fire district property tax levy to create an emergency and rescue fund to pay for additional firefighters and equipment.
With all 23 precincts reporting, 2,139 voted in favor of the tax increase and 1,479 against; 2,177 voted in favor of borrowing money and 1,401 voted against, in unofficial vote totals.
The building loan will increase the tax bill by $62.58 a year for a home valued at $200,000, according to district officials.
The emergency/rescue fund tax will add another $66.67 to that home's tax bill.
The 24-square-mile district has fire stations at 150 W. State St. and 2055 McDonald Road.
It employs 30 full-time firefighters/paramedics and 10 part-timers.
The two new stations will be built at 498 South Elgin Blvd. and at 1090 Spring St.
The latter will replace the State Street station in downtown South Elgin that also houses the district's administrative offices.
The district would hire at least nine more full-time firefighters and more part-timers.