Hoffman Estates raises ambulance fees, sets data-center electricity tax for new fire stations
Hoffman Estates trustees on Monday approved increases in the village's ambulance fees and the electricity tax for such high-volume users as data centers to raise the $25 million needed to replace its two oldest fire stations.
A replacement for the more than 50-year-old Station 21 at 225 Flagstaff Lane could begin construction at neighboring Chino Park next spring.
Then, in the spring of 2026, construction could begin on a new Station 22 on a yet to be identified site to replace the equally old facility at 1700 Moon Lake Blvd.
Hoffman Estates Village Manager Eric Palm said the staff will begin working with financial advisers on issuing bonds and looking for a construction manager.
Meanwhile, fire department officials will seek meetings with neighboring communities that have recently built fire stations to understand current best practices.
Village officials have emphasized that the funding sources for the new fire stations aren't intended to affect residents or currently operating businesses.
The increase in ambulance fees sets the village's rate at the 75th percentile among 19 local communities and is expected to be covered by insurance. Any portion not covered for residents would be waived.
The previous flat fee of $1,250 for residents and $1,500 for nonresidents will go up to $3,394 for both, with an additional $20 per mile traveling to the hospital.
The new rate is expected to bring in $840,000 more per year to pay down the bonds for Station 21, Palm said.
There also will be a basic fee of $250 for emergency medical services without transport - again waiving any portion left for residents to pay.
The changes further define a series of "lift assistance" fees for when residents call the fire department to help disabled persons move around or out of their homes, as well as to perform any household tasks. But these fees are considered as likely to discourage such calls as to raise new revenue.
The first two such assistance calls per year would cost nothing. The third through sixth each year would cost $150 per call, with gradual increases until those beyond the 30th would be $450 each.
The higher electricity tax rate would affect only businesses that use as much power as data centers. For such high-volume users, the rate is at the median for surrounding communities.
Once the new Microsoft data-center campus on Lakewood Boulevard begins operations, about $900,000 per year in additional revenue is expected.