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DeKalb, NIU reach deal on emergency services

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:25 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – A new fire protection and ambulance service agreement between DeKalb and Northern Illinois University will net the city a ladder truck and a significant bump in revenue over the next five years.

Under a five-year agreement aldermen approved Monday, NIU will pay the city $604,982 in the first year of the contract beginning July 1, with annual increases and a scheduled lump payment, NIU will pay the city $831,714 in the fifth year.

By the fifth year, the city will see a 43 percent increase from NIU’s current contribution of $581,713.

The increase will bring the university’s costs closer to the city’s cost for providing services. According to information provided by Fire Chief Eric Hicks, the university generates 16.3 percent of emergency fire department responses while providing 6 percent of the fire department’s budget.

NIU also will pay the city $275,000 in the next 30 days toward the purchase of a used aerial ladder truck that staff expects will cost $550,000. To pay its share, the city will finance the truck for no more than 10 years.

The city’s current ladder truck is 25 years old and was purchased in part to service the university’s high-rise residence halls.

“This is a win-win for the university and the city because it allows us to purchase a ladder truck much earlier than we would be able to afford it absent this contribution,” City Manager Anne Marie Gaura said.

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