ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Officials of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District on Thursday met with residents to talk about what the district’s next moves should be in light of a failed referendum in April.
Voters defeated the district’s rate hike request by a 3-1 margin in April, election records show.
Some of the roughly 10 residents who attended the Thursday meeting think the district needs to put another referendum question before the voters, but suggested officials change their approach from the previous effort.
“There seemed to be more emphasis on finance, equipment and budget … and not enough focus on the hardship of firefighters who work in the district,” district resident Dave Stohler said. “You have to present it in a more human fashion.”
Some of the district’s firefighter/paramedics left for better paying jobs and have not been replaced, said Bob Handley, the district’s board treasurer.
Campton Hills resident Jayne Holley said the district should emphasize the extensive training the firefighters and paramedics receive, as well as the change in response that could come with a smaller district staff.
“People like us don’t have the understanding of the scenario now,” Holley said.
In an effort to promote the district and another possible referendum, some residents are considering the formation of a Friends of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District group.
For information about the district, residents can call the district office at 630-584-3473 or email email@example.com.