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Illinois village seeks private fire department

One of a number of Illinois towns struggling with increasing pension costs wants to save money by shifting control of its fire department to a private company — a rare move village officials argue is the only option because they can’t make any more cuts or raise taxes.

The village of North Riverside pitched the cost-saving proposal before state regulators Thursday at a Chicago hearing after being summoned for repeatedly shirking payments into its firefighter and police retirement funds. Mayor Hubert Hermanek estimates the village could save $700,000 annually by privatizing its fire department — a solution that some say could be tried more and more in coming years…Please click here to read Chacour Koop’s story in the Associated Press.

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