Lake County News-June 2015

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Sandy Hart, District 13

June 25, 2015

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Dear Neighbor,

I hope this email finds you well and ready to celebrate another great 4th of July!  I'll be marching in the Lake Bluff parade again this year and hope to see you there.  There are many celebrations taking place throughout Lake County- festivals, parades, concerts, and fireworks. Click here to view a list of activities for the weekend, and best wishes for a safe and happy 4th.

Sandy Hart Signature

Tonight: Open House Public Hearing re: US 41 at IL 176

You are invited to an Open House to discuss the potential improvement of the interchange of US 41 and IL 176 on Thursday, June 25th, 4:00-7:00 PM, at the Lake Bluff Elementary School (350 West Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff).  The general scope of work for this improvement is anticipated to consist of interchange reconstruction, widening IL 176 from IL 43 to Skokie Valley Road to provide two through-lanes in each directions separated by a median; traffic signal replacement; pedestrian and bicycle accommodations; and stormwater drainage improvements.

The purpose of the hearing is to present the preferred improvement, impacts to the Lake Bluff Golf Club, solicit viewpoints on potential noise abatement measures, and obtain public input.

Tonight: Join the Conversation on North Chicago's Future

The public is invited to discuss North Chicago's comprehensive plan Thursday evening, June 25th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Foss Park Community Center, 1730 Lewis Ave. in North Chicago.  Give your input on the plan, which will provide a roadmap for reaching the community's long-term physical, socioeconomic, and cultural goals. Read more about the plan, timeline and documents at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning website.

Tomorrow: New Business Supports Lake Bluff Library

Visit the new Potbelly on 176 near the new Target on Friday, 11:30am - 1:00pm and 5:00-7:00pm to receive a sandwich, chips, and a drink for $5.00.  All proceeds go to the Friends of the Lake Bluff Library.

Free Health Fair in Waukegan Saturday, June 27

Attend a free health fair in observance of National HIV Testing Day 10:00am - 2:00pm Saturday, June 27 on the front lawn of the Belvidere Medical Building, 2400 Belvidere Road, Waukegan. In addition to free resources, free tests will be available for Hepatitis C and HIV. For information, call 847-377-8450, or visit the website

Free Golf for Kids!

Through August 31, each full-paying adult golfer may bring up to two children (ages 17 and younger) for no additional charge to Brae Loch, Countryside or ThunderHawk golf courses. This promotion is valid MondayFriday, anytime; Saturdays and Sundays, after 4 pm. Call 847-968-4295 for details. 

SWALCO Chemical Waste Collection Event July 18th in Deerfield

The Household chemical Waste Collection Event is scheduled on July 18th, 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM at Deerfield High School, 1959 North Waukegan Rd, Deerfield. 

Accepted Materials: Aerosol Products, Antifreeze & Motor Oil, Fertilizers, Herbicides Pesticides, Fluorescent Light Bulbs/CFLs, Furniture Stripper & Varnishes, Gasoline & Kerosene, Household Batteries (Lithium & Rechargeable only), Household Cleaners, Oil-Based Paints & Paint Removers, Prescription and over-the counter medicines and supplements (people & pet) - NO DEA Controlled Substances

Not Accepted: Latex paint, DEA Controlled substances, business wastes, farm chemicals, propane tanks, lead-acid and alkaline batteries, explosives, medical or biohazard wastes, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and household electronics. HCW collections sponsored by SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County) are for Illinois Residents ONLY. If you would like to learn more about SWALCO programs and services, visit or call 847-336-9340.

Know The Law: Homeowners Held Accountable for Underage Drinking

Lake County has put into place laws that will hold anyone accountable for hosting an event or gathering during which underage drinking or illicit drug use occurs. Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim sits down with Special Investigator Terry Vandergrift to further explain these ordinances. Watch now.

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Des Plaines River Trail

Closing the Gap on the Des Plaines River Trail
Construction has started on the final section of the Des Plaines River Trail that extends just south of Riverside Drive and north of Estonian Lane in Lincolnshire. Completion is expected later this fall. The 8-foot-wide paved trail will run about 1,600 feet long and close the gap between the existing northern and southern sections of the trail.  During construction, southbound trail users can still access the Lincolnshire trail to Milwaukee Avenue. South of the project, the trail will be closed at Estonian Lane. The trail access point at the rear parking lot of the former Cubby Bear property also will be closed until the project is complete. Check the website for updates.

Lake County is Hiring!

Career opportunities cover a wide spectrum of fields. Check out our career portal for the current job listings for Lake County government.

Shop Local at Farmers Markets!

Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, baked treats and goods while supporting local businesses at one of Lake County’s farmers markets.  Check out Lake County’s Farmers Market Finder to discover a farmer’s market near you.

Farmers Market

Mental Health

Last month I wrote about mental health and its impact on our law enforcement, jails, and courts.  As you may already know, this is a national effort and we are fortunate that Lake County has been working on this issue for several months.  The jail diversion programs already in place (read about a new one below) are effective in reducing our inmate population, and we are researching other strategies specifically targeted towards the mentally ill.  Last month I visited Rosecrance Mulberry in Rockford with members of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court, Lake County Health Department, law enforcement, and other agencies to learn about their crisis intervention center.  Rosecrance partners with area law enforcement to provide a place where potentially mentally ill persons can be taken to be evaluated and given treatment in a safe area, thereby keeping them out of the justice system and giving them the support and treatment they need.  We are also fortunate that Lake County United has made this a central issue for 2015, and continues to be a strong advocate for this critical initiative.

Zero: 2016

Lake County Government joined with many other communities across the country (including Waukegan and North Chicago) in the national initiative to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2016 and 2017, respectively.  Today I attended an Action Camp with stakeholders from across Lake County to identify the greatest barriers and develop strategies that will enable us to achieve this lofty goal.  In this instance, “zero” means that we are able to identify homeless veterans, individuals, and families and find housing for them within thirty days.  We are very fortunate to have The James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, which has sixty beds (always full) for homeless veterans who live in Lake County or surrounding areas.  You can read more about the national initiative here and what we are doing in Lake County here.  Not only is ending homelessness the right thing to do, it saves money, as shown by numerous studies and real-life examples.  To learn more about the societal costs of homelessness, click here to read a snapshot from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Protect Your Home and Save Money

Residents in unincorporated Lake County may be able to save up to 20 percent on their flood insurance policies. Lake County is recertified each year through FEMA based on our floodplain and building code regulations and community information and education. To find out more about floodplain regulations and to determine if you are located in a floodplain, visit our Flood Information page.

First-Time Offenders Earn a Second Chance with Alternative Prosecution Program

Last month the Lake County Board approved the appropriation of fees and costs assessed to participants of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Alternative Prosecution Program, giving first-time, non-violent offenders the opportunity to keep a conviction from being permanently entered on their record.  Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements must satisfy program requirements which may include: getting a high school diploma, obtaining counseling and/or substance abuse treatment, completing community service hours, paying full restitution to the victim, and finding employment. This program will save money by diverting cases from felony courtrooms and gives a second chance to first-time, non-violent offenders to avoid being labeled as a convicted criminal. Read Press Release​.

Healthy Lake County

Eliminate the Source, Combat Mosquitos

Be vigilant about eliminating sources for mosquitoes to breed and use protection to avoid contracting West Nile virus. County residents may report areas of stagnant water (conducive for mosquito breeding) as well as locations of dead birds, or learn more about the signs and symptoms of West Nile encephalitis by visiting the Health Department's website.

Summer Concerts at Independence Grove

Tuesday evening outdoor concerts at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville feature critically acclaimed recording artists performing a range of musical styles. These relax-on-the-lawn concerts are held Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm through August 4. View concert schedule

Make Sure the Beach Is Open

The Lake County Health Department Community Health Center tests Lake Michigan beaches and area inland lakes to ensure it is safe for swimmers.  Before heading out to the beach, make sure it's open by visiting the Health Center's website, or get information on Great Lakes beaches by downloading the free App myBeachCast

Civil War Days

Civil War Days July 11 and 12

The boom of cannons, the crack of rifles, the galloping of horse hooves welcomes you at the annual Civil War Days encampment, Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12 at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda. Wander the camps to see soldiers, civilians and tradesmen at work. Watch as union and confederate forces collide in battle. Visit the 1863 Summer Fair, meet President Lincoln and shop Civil War era vendors. Kids enjoy period crafts, games and a scavenger hunt. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it!  Visit for details. Buy your ticket online, or download a coupon for $1 off admissionTicket price includes parking and admission to the Lake County Discovery Museum

New Boating Laws

There are new laws affecting boating in Illinois: A watercraft that is towing a person must display a bright orange flag at the highest point of the boat’s helm. Also, all people born after January 1, 1998 must take and pass a boating safety course validated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and hold a valid boating safety certificate. is a useful website for all things boating in Lake County.  More information

Online Auction for Pier Rights for Fox River–Chain O'Lakes

The Lake County Forest Preserves is auctioning off 41 pier rights for use on the Fox River-Chain O'Lakes Waterway system that were acquired when Lake Marie Forest Preserve in Antioch was purchased. Pier rights will be auctioned off individually with a starting bid price of $1,000. Click here for details. 

Crime Stoppers Protect Residents

Crime Stoppers is a confidential informant service, partnering with local media, police departments and citizens to help solve crimes. Citizens can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 847-662-2222, and those who provide information that leads to an arrest are eligible to receive a cash reward up to $1,000. Lake County Crime Stoppers has been serving Lake County for 31 years and has helped solve over 10,000 cases. 

Crime Stoppers

Hawley Street Construction Open House, July 9

The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) will host a meeting to discuss the construction plans and schedule for the reconstruction of Hawley Street in Mundelein. The meeting will be conducted in an informal, open-house format. Exhibits will be on display, and representatives from LCDOT and the project team will be there to provide information and answer questions.  5 to 7 p.m. July 9, Carl Sandburg Middle School, 855 W. Hawley St.

Washington Street Central Project Construction Open House, July 15

The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) will host a construction open house for the Washington Street Central project within the villages of Hainesville, Round Lake Park and Grayslake. The project begins at Grandview Drive and extends east to Haryan Way. The meeting will be conducted in an informal, open-house format. Exhibits will be on display and representatives from LCDOT and the project team will be there to provide information and answer questions. More information  5 to 7 p.m. July 15  Round Lake Park Village Hall, 203 E Lake Shore Drive

Transportation System Modernization Creates Efficiencies, Saves Money

The need for transportation expansions and improvements exceeds the amount of funding that is available, and the cost of construction continues to rise. Therefore, we need to make our roads work more efficiently.  The Lake County Division of Transportation recently completed a 17-month traffic signal timing study along six corridors during peak travel times.  By analyzing Travel Times, Stops, and the Average Speed, we were able to calculate improvements in Vehicle Delays and Fuel Consumed. The study results show that technology enhancements, adjusting signal timing, and coordinating signals through Lake County PASSAGE led to a 1,625 hour reduction in delays, 544.8 gallons reduction of fuel consumption, and a savings of approximately $9.8 million dollars a year. More information

Lake County wins National Awards for Innovative Programs

Lake County has been recognized with four Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award winners include:  “Multi-Media Budget Project,” which includes a new budget web portal, the “2015 Leaders Summit/Lake County Life,” the “Lake County Opioid Initiative,” and the Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court (VTAC) Mentoring Program. Click on the links to learn more about these innovative, award-winning programs.



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