Fire district eyeing partnership with accounting firm

Fees could range between $1,700 to $2,300 a month

After the departure of Harvard Fire Protection District Administrative Assistant Jeri Loiselle, the district’s board of trustees is considering a partnership with a public accounting firm to perform administrative and financial services.

The board heard a presentation from Naperville-based Lauterbach and Amen LLP – which provides administrative services for dozens of Illinois police pension boards and fire departments – during its Tuesday meeting.

Trustee Joseph Clarke said the district was introduced to the firm during an Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts event. Before the board moved forward with hiring someone to replace Loiselle, Clarke said that the district wanted to explore the firm’s services to see if it could improve some of the weaknesses in the district’s system.

For $700 a month, the firm would prepare board meeting agendas and packets for trustees, transcribe meeting minutes, maintain the district’s digital records while making arrangements for the potential destruction of paper copies of files and maintain the district’s website.

For an extra $100 a month, a representative from the firm would be in attendance for board meetings.

The firm also could provide financial services to the fire district, such as budget assistance, audit preparation and tax levy documentation.

Lauterbach and Amen representative Wesley Levy said the firm’s representation of fire districts varies as some just want representatives to come in and pay the bills and other banking while others require full-time service.

“We customize the relationship to fit what you guys need,” Levy said.

Levy said fees for financial services generally are between $1,000 and $1,500 a month but the firm would have to determine how many bills the fire protection district pays a month and what software is used before it can come up with an exact number.

“Everything we do is a fixed fee,” Levy said. “That way, you know what the costs are and can plan ahead.”

Lauterbach and Amen also represents the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, the Cary Police Pension Fund board and Crystal Lake Fire Department.