Forming a Fire District
Our department is looking to possibly form a fire protection district with a neighboring department thus forming one department for the two towns. Does anyone know the formal way of doing such? Do I need to get in contact with the OSFM? Thanks for any help.
Not only should you probably contact the OSFM, but your lawyer as well. The Fire Protection District Act 70 ILCS 705/, the Validation Act 70 ILCS 710, and the Unprotected Area Act 70 ILCS 715 do a pretty good job of laying out the procedures for establishing a District.
Anyone have the link to forming an ambulance district? I'm just curious to read it. I saw the one for a rescue squad, but that's a different animal isn't it?
npfd801, not sure if you mean sole and separate ambulance district or a fire protection district adding an ambulance service. I may be wrong but I'm not sure a taxing ambulance district can be formed without association with a fire district.
See (70 ILCS 705/22) (from Ch. 127 1/2, par. 38.5) of the Fire Protection District Act on passing a special tax levy for providing ambulance service.
Thanks for the info, I am looking specifically for the laws pertaining to integrating into an existing fire protection district. I know that we have a local "rescue squad district" that is solely for providing ambulances that runs separate of two fire districts covering the same area, but they're not labelled as a specific ambulance district.
Originally Posted by kprsn1
Thanks for the information! We have been pondering this for quite a few years and hopefully can start getting through the legal procedures soon.
My former fire dept switched over to a FPD a few years back. It had to be put as a referendum and be voted on.
Two suggestions for you:
1- Contact Attorney James Sinclair. He literally helped write the book for the State of Illinois. He came and talked with us the first time for free. He will tell you what you need to do and the stuff that he will take care of for you. We did what he said and got the voters to pass it with no problem. It took a lot of door knocking and informing the public of why we needed to be a FPD, but it worked.
2- May find some info here too http://www.iafpd.org/.
Thanks for the info 2601. Here's a question that I didn't really get a clear answer from all the legal jargon. Can a department who is balloting the formation of a fire district override an area that is in a current fire district? I.e surrounding area that is unincorporated.
I agree with WCFPD. James Sinclair lives in and represents our District and is the attorney for the Illinois Association of FPD's. If he does not know the answer, no one else does.
I do not know your financial status but please keep in mind that fire districts in Illinois are severely limited in means of revenue generation compared to municipalities. Property tax is the big money maker and you are limited on the maximum levy amounts (.40 for the general fund, .05 for rescue, .30 for ambulance) Our district levys about .58 and that includes the general fund, pension, insurance, audit, rescue, etc. In contrast, Missouri fire districts in St. Louis County can levy much more. Some districts over there are levying over 1.25 and asking for an additional .25 in the August elections. Some of the pay at these districts on average is over 100k. Must be nice, except for the taxpayers who are oblivious to this.
In short, call Jim.
I am meeting with our fire commissioner and mayor next month to talk about it. I know we are going to have to go door to door to try persuading the public. Our budget is very low, the population we provide fire protection and EMS is about 1,200. I hope all goes well because this could help revenues with our department allowing us to have quality apparatus and equipment to better serve our communities.
I'm not sure about your question. I assume it would be part of the referendum...but again that is just a guess.
My old dept covers about 68 sq. miles and in the village limits is about 1500. They went from an annual budget of 10K to about 50K. The great thing for them is construction is booming out in the rural areas for them, so they keep getting a little more each year.