Springfield, IL... Senate Bill 740, sponsored in the House by Representative Pritchard, amends the Fire Hydrant Act to permit fire districts and municipalities to recover the costs for correcting a violation or non-compliance of the Act. This includes attorney’s fees and legal expenses. The bill was initiated to address instances where utility companies have placed boxes, landscaping, or trees in close proximity of a hydrant and have complicated access for firefighters. The bill permits fire departments/districts to contract for the removal of the obstruction and bill the responsible parties for the cost of the work.
Citizens can, by referendum, vote to dissolve a fire district. Senate Bill 781, also sponsored by Representative Pritchard, amends the Fire Protection District Act to provide that a Board of Trustees of a Fire Protection District must agree before taking on the responsibility to assume the fire protection services of a municipality after it has dissolved its fire department. This bill would help ensure that a district can successfully fulfill the additional duties when a municipal fire department dissolves with the intent of transferring its fire service to an adjacent fire district.
Both bills had no opponents and passed unanimously from the House today. They now head to the Governor for his signature.