Residents vote no to North Park Fire District ambulance service, vote yes to Blackhawk Fire District tax
WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) -
Residents in Machesney Park have voted no to a referendum that would allow the North Park Fire District to buy its own ambulances, but residents in the Blackhawk Fire Protection District voted to pay an additional property tax that would help fund additional medical and rescue equipment for the district.
The North Park Fire District pushed the referendum to prevent its reliance on private companies. The referendum would have introduced an increase to residents' property taxes which would not exceed .4 percent. However, the vote failed, 61 percent to 39 percent.
The Blackhawk Fire Protection District pushed its own referendum to increase property taxes. Officials say the district is relying on aging equipment to serve a 24-mile area of about 8,500 residents. The referendum will add a .05 percent tax to residents' existing property taxes. The vote succeeded, 74 percent to 26 percent.