With the approval of a referendum to set a tax rate that would add $236,000 to the Hampshire Fire Protection District’s budget, fire officials are looking to add staff and replace outdated emergency vehicles.
Deputy Fire Chief Trevor Herrmann said the district has taken more than 1,200 calls this year, about 200 of which occurred when the crew was handling multiple calls at once.
With the referendum’s passage, the district will increase its personnel levels from four firefighter/paramedics to five every shift starting June 1.
To achieve this, Herrmann said, the district will be looking to add between three and five new crew members.
Herrmann said any revenue left over will go toward the replacement of one of the district’s ambulances and fire engines.
The district’s secondary ambulance is 11 years old, while its secondary fire engine is 21 years old.
These investments will not come without a cost to taxpayers. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the new tax rate would amount to an estimated $67 increase in the fire district’s portion of his or her property tax bill.
The referendum narrowly advanced in the primary election, winning by a margin of only three votes, 552-549. It then received about 52 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 election, according to Kane County election results updated Tuesday.
Leading up to the election, School District 300 put its support behind the referendum because of its strong partnership with the fire protection district and the reliability it has shown to students and staff.