By Associated Press - Sunday, December 16, 2018

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - The Rockford Fire Department might soon add to its fire-vehicle repair shop duties.

Fire Chief Derek Bergsten tells the Rockford Register Star that the department is seeking a fourth mechanic to offer the shop’s services to other Winnebago county agencies.

Bergsten says the extra income would cover the additional mechanic’s costs and provide $73,000 more in annual city revenue.

Other fire departments have expressed interest in Rockford handling their repairs. They otherwise must find shops in suburban Chicago. The travel and turnaround time is expensive.

A financial task force of residents recommended finding more ways for city departments to generate revenue. The task force and a consultant suggested long-term methods of avoiding deficits as pension costs escalate.

The Rockford shop has national certification for emergency vehicle repair.

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