Cliffhanger for Antioch fire district referendum

Antioch fire officials were in limbo late Tuesday as a request for a tax increase to generate about $1.57 million per year for personnel and building repairs was too close to call.

According to unofficial totals, 1,166 voters, or 52%, were against the measure with 1,062 supporting it. The tally late Tuesday night did not include early or mail-in votes.

"Our fingers are crossed," said Chief Jon Cokefair. "We don't know how many early votes there are."

If approved, the money will allow the department to plan for a continuing increase in calls and address building and personnel needs. With the approval, the annual tax bill for a home valued at $200,000 will increase by $163.

Three aging fire stations need repairs and improvements including roofs, parking lots, windows, doors and lighting, Cokefair said.

"We find ourselves falling farther and farther behind," Cokefair said.

The First Fire Protection District of Antioch Township covers 35 miles in the village and unincorporated areas. Call volume rose 10% from 2017, a trend expected to continue.

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