Spring Valley IL Needs Voter Approval to Replace 1964 Fire Apparatus

Spring Valley Fire Department (IL) needs voters to support a referendum for a $550,000 bonds to replace a 49-year-old fire truck.

The vote will allow the fire department to buy a new truck and related equipment to replace their current 1964 American LaFrance engine. For 30 years, the department has periodically issued bonds to pay for trucks and other such equipment.

In 2012, the city refinanced a 2004 bond that was used to upgrade an aerial truck; that move lowered interest from 4.42 percent to 2.37 percent with two years left to pay, saving the taxpayers $10,000. If approved, the new bond issue would keep the same rate but add 10 more years to the payment, extending the total to 12 years with no tax increase.

Fire chief Todd Bogatitus said the replacement of the truck is necessary because of its age and declining condition. The fire engine has no seat belts and other safety features and does not meet current exhaust emission standards. The department wants the new fire engine to hold 1,000 gallons of water instead of the current 250 gallons. Bogatitus said the old truck could be life-threatening to first responders and the people who need help.

Bogatitus said they need the new truck to maintain the city’s Insurance Service Office rating of five on a 1 to 10 scale. The ISO rating is based on fire departments’ ability to meet the local communities’ need, and assessing equipment and maintenance is part of that equation. The rating affects insurance for both homeowners and businesses. Bogatitus said if the rating became worse and went up to a six or seven, it might deter new businesses from moving into the area. If the ISO rating went up, insurance for a home valued at $100,000 could go up $28 a year.

For more information, view newstrib.com


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