Elk Grove fire district, Mount Prospect could restart talks

Talks could resume this week between Mount Prospect and the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District to resolve an impasse over fire and emergency medical service within the district's service area.

Under a proposed agreement recently approved by Mount Prospect trustees, Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village and Des Plaines would take over the duties of the fire district, which would dissolve and yield its fire station and equipment.

Three new special taxing districts would provide the funding for the municipalities.

Mount Prospect officials say the fire district is running a structural deficit because of a shrinking tax base stemming from annexations.

But the fire district has not signed off on the agreement. District officials take issue with the legality of the proposed dissolution, as well as the village's cost-benefit analysis.

"We don't believe at this moment that the (agreement) is fair enough to our constituents," fire district board President Carlos Maldonado said. "However, we want to make sure that we can negotiate something, not just with Mount Prospect, but with the municipalities together."

Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Cassady said the two sides could meet as early as today.

Fire protection district Trustee James Jablonski accused Mount Prospect of trying to "shove an (agreement) down the district's throat that is going to take full advantage of us."

Jablonski said Mount Prospect still owes the fire district more than $260,000 from a previous agreement.

When asked about the money last week, Cassady responded, "Why would we pay them, if we're about to take over those services?"

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