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Posted on: November 23, 2015

City of Highwood Looks to Partner with Highland Park for Fire & Ambulance Services

HIGHWOOD, IL (NOVEMBER 2015) – Over the past year, the City of Highwood and the City of Highland Park have worked together on a plan that would allow Highland Park to serve Highwood residents with fire and emergency services.

“The more we investigated the best way to deliver fire and emergency services, the more clearly we identified a contract with Highland Park was the best solution for the safety of our residents,” Highwood Mayor Charles Pecaro said.

Highland Park has a nationally accredited department and already provides response around the entirety of Highwood. The departments frequently dispatch fire trucks and ambulances to many of the same calls, providing redundant service.

“The two communities have worked together frequently to provide better services or reduce costs for residents. This contract would do both, if approved by voters in March 2016,” said Highwood City Manager Scott Coren.

The contract with Highland Park is contingent upon Highwood voters passing a referendum to close the fire station on Green Bay Road. “Highland Park runs a nationally accredited department with exceptional employees who will serve residents well for many years to come,” adds Coren.

The other alternative for service is to contract with PSI, a fire personnel staffing company who works with many surrounding communities including Lincolnwood. If the referendum does not pass, then Highwood intends to move forward with this contract.

With the money saved from the agreement, Highwood can begin to address immediate infrastructure needs such as the fixing of city roads and sidewalks. “We’ve already had to increase taxes to address these issues in the past,” says Coren. “Not facing the economic reality that change must occur will only result in more difficult decisions in the future. We must be efficient with our limited tax dollars. We are fortunate to have a great partner and service option just next door.”

The next and final step to approve this partnership will be for Highwood residents to answer the referendum question: Shall the City of Highwood Fire Department serving the citizens with the City of Highwood cease to provide emergency services and be dissolved and discontinued? If a majority of Highwood voters vote yes, the agreement will move forward. If they vote no, the agreement will be void and the City of Highwood will not be able to contract with Highland Park.

Additional questions and answers regarding the referendum can be found at http://www.cityofhighwood.com. The City of Highwood, IL administrative offices are located at 17 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, Illinois 60040, Tel: 847.432.1924.

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