River Forest board: Fire truck sharing should end

River Forest board: Fire truck sharing should end

12 February 2013

published by www.oakpark.com

USA — River Forest officials are considering pulling out of a fire truck-sharing agreement with Oak Park as the village looks at making future purchases.

The River Forest Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to notify Oak Park that it is looking to end an intergovernmental agreement in which presently the two villages share a fire truck.

The villages purchased the truck, a quintuple combination pumper with a 100-foot ladder, after entering into the agreement in December 1999. That apparatus is currently kept in Oak Park, mainly because that village’s fire department is able to house the vehicle in a larger facility. Both villages are given equal access to the truck.

The decision to exit the agreement comes as River Forest looks to purchase a new vehicle — a similar “quint” as the multipurpose trucks are called — with a slightly smaller ladder.

In addition to supporting the resolution, Trustee Cathy Adduci said she hoped the village could learn from the outcome of this agreement.

“This is a great reason for us to have intergovernmental contracts, so that they’re negotiated appropriately, so that there’s a win-win,” she said. “In this case, I’d have to say that it was a win for Oak Park and a ‘lose’ for River Forest, given that we did not house the truck.”

Village Administrator Eric Palm said he had already let Oak Park officials know that the board was considering plans to terminate the agreement.

Per the original agreement, either village is allowed to exit the deal in the event that a notice is delivered 18 months in advance. The agreement is set to expire normally in 2019.

Retirement payout

The board also voted on Monday to make an early payout to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund as a cost-saving measure for the village.

If completed, the $398,301 payment could save the village between $58,000 and $76,000 over the next seven years, according to Joan Rock, director of finance for the village.

River Forest enrolled in the IMRF’s Early Retirement Incentive Program in 2009, at the time agreeing to an estimated cost of $445,838 with an annual interest rate of 7.5 percent on the unpaid balance. If paid over an initially agreed upon period of 10 years, that tab would eventually come to $641,085.

“We can absorb the [cost] this year, no problem,” said Trustee James Winikates.

The measure would also improve River Forest’s funded percentage for IMRF, which was 45 percent as of December 2011.

Aggregation renewed

Palm also notified the board that the village recently renewed its electricity aggregation agreement with Chicago-based Integrys Energy Services. Replacing rates from an agreement set to expire in June, the new contract puts electricity in the village at 4.99 cents per kilowatt hour, slightly up from the original rate of 4.62 cents per KwH, set in September.

“We’ve seen some upward movement in cost and supply, so … we opted to lock it in for another year,” said Palm. The new contract expires in June 2014.

Other approved measures at Monday’s meeting included a recommendation for a zoning variation at 1111 Bonnie Brae and an ordinance vacating a right-of-way to Lincoln School at 511 Park Avenue.


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