By Gail Peckler-Dziki~Correspondent

First Fire Protection District 1 (FFPD1) board member Matt Tabar again encouraged the committee to move the idea of consolidation forward at the Aug. 7 subcommittee meeting between the village of Antioch and the FFDP1. Village committee members, however, seemed to be bogged down with parts of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that governs how the FFPD1 and Antioch Fire Department share costs.

Two weeks ago, the subcommittee hoped to see actual numbers for a realistic split of what each entity pays for fire service. At that meeting, Tabar stated that fire calls to the village are two times those in the unincorporated area. He suggested that the difference in service calls be reflected accurately, since the FFPD1 and village now split all costs 50/50.

He said that only that portion should be changed, the rest should be calculated as it is currently except for the administrative assistant who works for both departments but is paid only by the FFPD1.

Village administrator Jim Keim was tasked with putting a number to the idea for this next meeting, but no number was presented. What was presented were several other areas that the village might believe the FFPD1 should pay more than the 50/50 split. Mary Dominiak, Dennis Crosby and Jerry Johnson, the village representatives on the subcommittee, said they had not seen the list of items until shortly before the meeting. Keim did not attend the meeting on August 7. No decision was made on that issue and updating the IGA was delayed again.

 

Crosby again mentioned that he believes the Antioch Rescue Squad, which still serves as the ambulance service for the FFPD1, should pay rent to the village for space in stations 1 and 2. The ARS is in station 2 only seasonally and during certain holidays. The village and FFPD1 share ownership of both stations.

Tabar moved the group along to discuss a consolidation. The decision to invite Jim Kelly, an outside consultant, to address the next subcommittee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. was made. Kelly will talk about the need and costs for using an outside consultant.

The current model of the FFPD1 and the village each having a governing body for one fire department is outdated. As population centers change and grow, some believe having a central governing body and central command structure is best today.

The subcommittee will have several tasks regarding consolidation. They must articulate and present the benefits of having a different structure as well as explaining the benefits to the added cost.

Crosby stated that efficiencies and functionality must be attached to those new costs, which are not yet known. “The economy is still pretty rough and we have people worrying about buying groceries,” he said.

Crosby also again asked the FFPD1 members what would happen to the dollars they district might save if the costs between the village and the district are shared realistically. Tabar repeated his statement from the previous meeting, that the district can spend money only for fire protection.

“We don’t have others areas, like the village, where we can spend dollars,” he said.

 

The subcommittee also needs to learn how referendum for consolidation would work. It is not clearly known if it can be done in one referendum or several.

Representation from the township government is still not in place on the committee. Two township trustees, Peter Grant and Tom Shaughnessey, did attend the August 7 meeting. Crosby said he believed that the township ought to have a representative on the committee and asked who would decide who that would be. Shaughnessey replied, “That up to you.”

Tabor commented that it was a township board decision and that body would meet the next night.  Both Grant and Shaughnessey were appointed to represent the township on the subcommittee, possibly as alternates.

 
 

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