Lake County News: August 2017

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Sept. 1, 2017

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Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. If you would like to learn more about something concerning Lake County Government or your Forest Preserves, please don't hesitate to contact me.  As always, it is a privilege to represent you on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board.

Sandy Hart Signature

tax dollar

Second Property Tax Payment Due September 6!
The second installment of your 2016 property tax bill is due Sept. 6. Please note you received one bill in May, and you will not receive another bill for the second installment. If you have misplaced your second installment coupon, you can print a copy from the Treasurer's Office website by entering your PIN or address. View your tax bill and check payment status.

Keep in mind, while you send your payment to Lake County, the County only keeps a small portion (about 7%), and the rest is distributed to many other taxing districts. Visit Lake County’s property tax information page to learn more about the property tax process, including what Lake County does with its portion.

hcw collection

Household Chemical Waste collection
September 30, 8am-2pm
Lake Forest Municipal Center
800 N. Field Drive

Mark your calendar to bring your household cleaners, fluorescent light bulbs, oil based paints and other household chemical waste products to be disposed of properly. SWALCO also offers year-round collections by appointment only at its Gurnee facility. This important program diverts toxic waste from our landfills and waterways by sending it to IEPA approved recycling and reuse facilities. Learn more 

flood assessment

Flooding Update
Lake County is offering permit fee waivers and/or fast-tracking permits for flood related repairs for unincorporated residents.  For more information, call 847-377-2600. If you live in a municipality, contact your village.  

Lake County continues to work with state and federal teams to assess the damage to homes and businesses as a result of the July flood. If IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) finds that the damage meets the state threshold ($18.3 million), a federal declaration is awarded, which could potentially help reimburse local, county, and state governments, and certain private, non-profit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair/replacement of damaged public infrastructure. It would also enable residents affected by flooding to apply for low-interest loans and/or grants from FEMA.

The Disaster Declaration Process is a multi-step process that may take 2-3 months.

tick removal

Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus in Lake County
Two people in Lake County have contracted West Nile Virus this August, and reports of Lyme Disease are on the rise. The Lake County Health Department conducted emergency aerial larvicide treatment to areas along the Des Plaines River impacted by flooding, targeting 130 acres where Culex mosquitoes the primary carriers) were breeding. To date, 52 pools or batches of mosquitoes and one bird have tested positive for West Nile virus this year. Whenever spending time outdoors, particularly in forested areas, use insect repellent. Standing water in items like buckets, gutters, plant containers and debris from flood cleanup can become breeding sites.

 Watch this video to see the proper way to remove a tick.  Visit the Fight the Bite Now website to learn prevention tips.

Bike Lake County

Bike and Hike Lake County!
Lake County has over 550 total miles of trails and bikeways, connecting forest preserves and communities throughout the county! Plan your next trip by using the Bike Lake County app, where you can find all the trails, paths, and lanes you can use in Lake County. Use the Interactive Trail Map to explore trail composition, length, and view the activities and amenities available at different preserves. Participate in the Hike Lake County challenge by walking on seven hikes by Nov. 30. 

Dan Krill, a Lake County employee, has been using these bike paths and bike lanes to ride his bike to work every day (even in the winter) for the past seven years. Watch the video to hear his story, and learn how LCDOT continues to consider non-motorized travel a high priority.

Gurnee Craft Beer Festival: A Great Cause!
September 16, 2pm-7pm, Gurnee Mills
Support Gurnee's American Legion Post 771 and Lake County Honor Flight by attending the 3rd annual Gurnee Craft Beer Fest. Over 50 craft breweries will be there, along with live music, food trucks, and raffles. This event has raised almost $50,000 to support these two important organizations.  

gurnee beer
ruck march

Raise Awareness of Veteran Suicide: 8am Sept. 23,      1801 Sheridan Rd., North Chicago
Join us on a 22 km march from the Veterans Memorial in North Chicago to Grayslake and help raise awareness of veteran suicide by attending the Ruck March of Lake County. There will be prizes for teams and individuals as well as gifts for all participants. For information, contact Lake County Veteran & Family Services, or call 847-986-4622.

Veteran History Project at the Lake County Courthouse
On Veterans Day (observed November 10), veterans are invited to gather at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan to be interviewed by volunteer lawyers about their wartime experiences. These oral histories will be recorded and transcribed by official court reporters, and then archived at the Library of Congress. Civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (war industry workers, USO workers, civilian flight instructors and pilots, medical personnel, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories. To register for the event or for information about the project, call 847-377-3771.

September 26: National Voter Registration Day
If you haven't registered to vote yet, or have a child who will turn 18 before the next election day (March 6, 2018), mark your calendar for September 26, National Voter Registration Day. The League of Women Voters - Lake Forest/Lake Bluff is coordinating a community-wide effort, partnering with Shields Township, Lake Bluff Library, Lake Forest City Hall, Lake Forest Library, Lake Forest Municipal Services Building, Dickinson Hall, and the following schools (for enrolled students only): Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest College, and Lake Forest Academy. Citizens can call the locations for hours, or register online.  A recent voter registration bill was just signed which will automatically register someone to vote when they get or renew a driver's license. Questions, please email

green youth farm

Support Local Youth at Greenbelt Farmer's Market
Eat healthful produce and support local youth when you shop at the Green Youth Farm of Lake County market. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 12. Purchase fresh and nutritious organic vegetables, herbs, honey and more, grown in Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago by area students. Learn more

rain barrel compost bin sale

Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale 
Sept. 15, 10am-2pm, 1311 N. Estes St., Gurnee
Learn the benefits of owning a rain barrel and compost bin as the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County holds an end-of-summer rain barrel, compost bin and accessories Both are made using recyclable materials. Some benefits are:

  • Save on your water bill and use water on your own schedule
  • Reduce erosion, flooding and stormwater runoff
  • Help plants resist disease and improve your soil’s pH balance

water quality

Water Quality and Conservation
Lake County Public Works (LCPW) is committed to providing safe water to our customers. In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, we publish an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) describing the sources, treatment and chemical analysis of each water distribution system. Learn more about what we are doing to protect your local drinking water quality and find out where your water comes from in this video. LCPW customers can monitor how much water they use by visiting the Water Meter Customer Portal and registering. Watch this video to learn the benefits of using this service. Read Lake County’s water usage and conservation guide, which has helpful information about water consumption and water conservation tips. 

Partners Big Event 2017

Lake County Partners Drive Local Economy Forward
Government, business and community leaders are continuing to work together to grow our talent economy. Watch this video to learn more as leaders came together to discuss how to attract businesses to the county. 
Lake County Partners 2016 annual report.

Lake County Partners provides an excellent quarterly newsletter giving important statistics on workforce, economic development, new investments and relocations.  68% of Lake County residents have continued schooling beyond high school, and 43% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, exceeding the national average by 13%. In today's labor market, an educated workforce is critical to a company's success.  Monthly economic updates are also available.

A Way Out

“A Way Out” from Addiction 
Individuals who struggle with substance abuse often cycle through our criminal justice system Now, they can get directed quickly to treatment through a pilot program called “A Way Out."  Individuals may contact a participating police department at any time and tell an officer they are requesting help. If they seek assistance they will avoid criminal charges. In just over 12 months, 170 people have been helped.   Watch this video to learn more about the “A Way Out” program developed by The Lake County Opioid Initiative, on which I serve. 

Text a Tip FREE App connects youth to counselor and support 
LEAD, a substance abuse prevention organization, developed a FREE app that provides access to Text-a-Tip, a 24/7 anonymous text crisis hotline offering emotional support and help if you are concerned about a friend or loved one. Since its inception, over 1300 people have been helped with issues such as depression, suicide ideation, bullying, and drugs.

Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program
First-time, non-violent offenders now can keep a conviction from being permanently entered on their record by participating in the Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution ProgramThere is no fee to enroll into the program. However, a defendant will be required to pay court costs based on his/her ability to pay and restitution, if applicable.The program holds offenders accountable and addresses the needs of crime victims, but also gives deserving defendants a second chance and the opportunity to avoid being labeled a convicted criminal.

Captain Daniel Wright Woods

Captain Daniel Wright Woods
This peaceful oasis among the bustling suburbs offers four miles of scenic trails: a short loop for hikers, bicyclists and skiers that circles a pond, and a 3-mile loop for hikers, bicyclists, skiers and horses. A footbridge spanning the Des Plaines River links Wright Woods to Half Day Forest Preserve. Together they offer some of southern Lake County's most scenic outdoor recreation opportunities.

Wright Woods 750 acres supports a rich oak and maple woodland, and is a great place to view autumn colors. In late summer, look for nesting field birds in the restored prairie. Eastern bluebirds, tree swallows and red-tailed hawks are also common.  

nature restoration

Help Restore Nature
Spend a weekend morning restoring wildlife habitat. Gather with other preservation-minded volunteers, and help make a difference in the health and habitat of your forest preserves. No experience is required, and families and groups are welcome. Please RSVP so we can bring enough equipment for everyone. Learn more

Crisis Intervention Training for Forest Preserve Rangers
Lake County Forest Preserve Ranger Police patrol 10% of the land in Lake County, the second largest jurisdiction. Rangers often encounter people with emotional, cognitive, and mental health challenges. The Preservation Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved a grant for Crisis Intervention Training to provide all full-time rangers with skills to de-escalate interactions with people in crisis and connect them with health services. This specialized training is also being given to law enforcement in the Sheriff's Office, and has already resulted in successful outcomes and saved lives.

gateway grants

Gateways Grants Open the Door for Schools 
As budgets shrink, field trips are increasingly out of reach for Lake County schools, especially in low-income communities. Since 1991, Gateways Grants have made field trips possible for tens of thousands of students. They benefit from “school” in outdoor and museum settings, where learning is experiential and profound. School districts with a low-income population of 40 percent or more are eligible. Gateways Grants cover program fees and provide a bus stipend. Donations fully fund this program. Our goal is to raise $5,000 in Gateways Grants by the start of the school year. Help make field trips possible.

compost program

Lake Bluff Launches Year-Round Composting Program
Turning food scraps into compost is just one part of Lake County’s critical strategy to increase recycling across the county and achieve a 60% recycling goal. One way the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County is helping work toward that goal is through food scrap programs like the ones recently launched in Highwood and Lake Bluff, the first municipalities in Illinois to include year-round food-scrap collection programs in hauling contracts. Watch this video to learn more about this new program.



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