The First Fire Protection District Seeks Tax Referendum Approval on April 6, 2021
 
By Fire Chief Jon Cokefair
January 26, 2021
 

The First Fire Protection District of Antioch is seeking a Tax Referendum in April of 2021

Historically, with the calls for service on the rise, the members of the First Fire Protection District struggle to reach our goal of making contact with 90% of the callers within 6 minutes. In 2020 we responded to 2975 calls for service. This was down from the previous year's 471 calls. Departments across Lake County also saw significant decreases (-8.7%) in volume attributed to the Covid-19 Pandemic. As Fire Service Professionals, we feel our call volume will return to the growth we have seen in the past years as life returns to the new normal.

With 8.5 million dollars in building assets deteriorating, the department cannot keep up on the repairs needed on your aging firehouses.
Since 2016 we have collected good data where we can track the payer mix of the people who use our ambulance service. We have good data on the types of calls and where they occur in the district.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a shortfall of funds to best take care of your 8.5 million dollars in building assets. Additionally, we find ourselves short of being able to continue building on our non-traditional model of Contract and Part-time employee model. A model that keeps the First Fire Protection District OUT of the pension crisis.

The Board of Trustees of the First Fire Protection District of Antioch have had lengthy discussions on the need to get in front of the growth and to care for our aging infrastructure. The only solution is to ask for this tax increase.
After an unsuccessful request last Spring, we find ourselves with few options other than returning to our community, to ask for an increase again. If our residents understand our needs and approve the question, the residents will realize an increase of approximately $88.50 per $100,000 market value on their homes. This will generate approximately 1.8 million dollars per year allowing us to add the needed staff to meet service levels and begin to repair assets.
We are doing our best to serve you. We are operating under more stringent protocols to keep you healthy and safe. Protocols that put an increasing strain on our staff both mentally and physically.

Please feel free to contact Chief Cokefair or Deputy Chief Cook if you wish to host a virtual meeting or would like to meet to help better understand our mission. jcokefair@antiochfire.org or jcook@antiochfire.org

This referendum is not to pay for Traditional Pensioned Firefighters. Our Part-time and Contract staffing model will remain the same.
What if it doesn’t pass?
Business as usual. We will continue to operate out of 3 stations with 12 personnel on Staff 24/7. We will do what we can and continue to fall behind with the dollars we have to take care of the aging infrastructure and equipment.