Bartonville Fire Department could be expanding with referendum on ballot

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BARTONVILLE, Ill (WMBD) — The Village of Bartonville Fire Department could be expanding with a referendum on the ballot.

A yes vote means there’s a better chance of firefighters making it to a scene on time, but it comes with the question of raising taxes.

Bartonville Fire Department could be bringing on new faces to fight fires in the village.
Chair of Public Safety Teresa Donley said a referendum on the ballot would put paid fire crews stationed at the firehouse ready to respond to calls.

“It’s just become more and more difficult, especially during dayshift to make sure that we always have at least two people coming to respond to calls,” said Donley.

It’s a challenge that one former firefighter experienced first hand.

“It’s very hard to find volunteers because you have to find that time in your busy life with your full-time job, family. You know, a lot of people don’t want to give up their weekends and holidays,” said former firefighter Kelli McFarlan.

Donley said a yes vote on the ballot would mean a tax increase but the amount depends on several factors.

“I do not have those numbers at the moment this is still something we are investigating and that will come down to whether it be two men on a crew, three men on a crew,” said Donley.

Donley explains why she is leaving the referendum up to community members.

“This board is very understanding that people do not have an extensive amount of expendable income. That is why we chose to be very transparent in our endeavors to discover whether or not this is something our residents are interested in,” said Donley.

Mayor Leon Ricca said the department has at least 20 volunteers as of now.

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