Judge terminates Rutland Dundee Fire contract for luxury neighborhood
A judge recently sided with the Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District in terminating a contract to provide fire and ambulance services to about 30 houses in the West Dundee Fire Protection District.
Rutland officials sued in spring 2018, arguing its residents unfairly subsidized emergency services to the houses in the West Dundee fire district by paying three times what those residents pay, and that the agreement was last changed by board members who are no longer in office.
Kane County Judge Katherine M. Moran ruled in favor of Rutland last week and gave West Dundee fire district officials until the end of April to strike a deal for new fire protection services, according to court records.
Don Rage, Rutland Dundee fire district president, said he was pleased with the ruling.
"They were not paying their fair share," said Rage, who added the two sides have not agreed on a plan going forward. "We'll continue to cover (West Dundee), but you must pay your fair share."
West Dundee fire district attorneys did not return phone messages. The two sides are due back before Moran on April 30.
According to the suit, Rutland and the West Dundee fire protection district signed an agreement in November 2004 to have Rutland provide fire and ambulance services for a yearly cost of $7,500.
The West Dundee Fire Protection District covers a group of luxury houses off Frontenac Drive and Boncosky Road, just west of Route 31, and is a taxing body that exists only on paper. It does not own or operate a fire station or equipment, and it does not pay firefighters. Under state law, it may contract for fire and ambulance services.
The initial deal was extended in May 2016 to run through April 2020, but Moran ruled changes to the contract could not bind future members of the Rutland board.
"The rate generated by the levy when extended against each parcel of property, creates a tax burden on the residents of Rutland-Dundee that is three times the burden imposed on the residents of West Dundee," read part of Rutland's argument in favor of terminating the contract.
The West Dundee fire district previously struck a deal with the village of West Dundee for fire services in the early 2000s, but it signed the 2004 deal with Rutland when the village asked to increase the contract.