Deal between 3 towns would dissolve Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District

The tiny Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District would be dissolved and its responsibilities taken over by the Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village and Des Plaines fire departments, under a proposal the three municipalities are considering.

The plan calls for a shared services partnership between the three communities and a November 2022 referendum to formally authorize the fire district's dissolution.

Mount Prospect, Elk Grove and Des Plaines would create a taxing district known as special service area to provide $1 million in initial funding. The money would be divided by the three communities based on expected call volumes to be handled by each.

After approval of the special service area, the fire protection district would stop levying a property tax and liquidate its assets. The district's Fire Station 11 and tanker would be deeded to Mount Prospect, under the proposal.

Mount Prospect village trustees will discuss the proposal Tuesday and the fire district's board is scheduled to vote on it Thursday. Des Plaines council members and Elk Grove trustees have not voted on the plan.

"It really won't impact the tax bill for village residents at all," Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Cassady said. "The key is to provide effective fire and EMS protection for the remaining unincorporated areas in Elk Grove Township."

The fire district has been shrinking over the years as unincorporated areas in its jurisdiction have been annexed by surrounding municipalities. The district now covers only about one square mile, including three manufactured home communities, the Roppolo subdivision northeast of Elk Grove and several manufacturing areas.

According to a Mount Prospect financial analysis, the fire district is underfunded and will run out of operating cash next year.

The fire district recently extended its contract with American Fire and Rescue to provide fire and EMS services through June and then, on a monthly basis, through December.

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