Voter registration day, Water usage and conservation, and More

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Sept. 22, 2017

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Dear Neighbors,

I am always looking for feedback on my newsletter as well as what's happening in Lake County. If you have any comments or concerns, feel free to send me an email, or give me a call at 224-627-0767. If this newsletter was forwarded to you, please sign up to continue to receive news about Lake County and District 7.

Lake County Increases Minimum Legal Sales Age for Tobacco Products to 21 in Unincorporated Areas

Tobacco 21 video

The County Board has approved an ordinance to increase the minimum legal sales age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in unincorporated Lake County, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Lake County is the first county in Illinois to raise the minimum legal sales age to 21 in unincorporated areas. To date, five Lake County communities including Deerfield, Highland Park, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, and Buffalo Grove are among 11 municipalities in the state of Illinois to adopt Tobacco 21 ordinances. 

Following the board's action on Sept. 12, I spoke about what this ordinance can do to help protect the health of the County's youth. Watch now.

Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and is responsible for 480,000 deaths annually. In Illinois, 6,300 youth become new daily smokers each year. The Lake County Health Department provides FREE one-on-one and group counseling with a certified tobacco treatment specialist for adults looking to quit smoking or other their tobacco use. Learn more

Disaster Loans: July 2017 Flood


Individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations impacted by the July 2017 flooding in Lake County may be eligible for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The deadline to apply for Physical Damage loans, such as loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, is Oct. 17, 2017. The deadline to apply for Economic Injury loans, such as loans to assist small businesses and non-profits through the recovery period, is May 16, 2018. For more information on eligibility, loan amounts, and other requirements, please view this SBA Fact Sheet. If the governor's request for a Federal Disaster Declaration is approved, other resources may become available for Lake County residents and businesses.

For more information, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, or emailing

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead! You Can

emergency alerts

The recent Lake County flooding and hurricanes impacting many parts of the country all remind us of the importance of coming together as a family and community to prepare. As we observe National Preparedness Month this month, learn tips to help you prepare.

Lake County also has a variety of resources to help you prepare for an emergency. Alert Lake County is your emergency preparedness resource, and watch this video for tips to get emergency alerts

National Voter Registration Day

2017 national voter registration day

Every year, millions of Americans are unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don't update their registration, or are unsure of how to register. On National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 26, volunteers will be working throughout Lake County to connect people with the ability to vote. View voter registration locations. Learn how you register to vote online.

Water Usage and Conservation

water meter

Did you know average person uses 25 to 50 gallons of water taking a shower? And by shutting off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving, you can save one to three gallons of water per minute? Read Lake County’s water usage and conservation guide, which has helpful information about water consumption, both indoor and outdoor and water conservation tips. Use this knowledge to verify that your home is leak free, and start conserving water in your daily activities. You may save money too!

Use the Water Meter Customer Portal
Lake County Public Works customers can monitor how much water is being used and possibly save money by visiting the Water Meter Customer Portal. Registering takes only a minute! Watch this video to learn the benefits of using the customer portal.  Register now!

Donate Your Eclipse Glasses

eclipse glasses

Do you still have the glasses you used to view the solar eclipse? Don’t throw them away! Bring glasses to one of four locations across Lake County now through Nov. 11 as the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County is working with Astronomers Without Borders to bring these glasses and provide a first-hand science experience for schools in developing countries. Please do not donate scratched, broken or torn glasses.

Public Works Begins Fall Hydrant Flushing

hydrant flushing 2017

Lake County Public Works has begun its semi-annual water hydrant flushing program. After hydrant flushing, customers may notice a slight discoloration of the water. Residents are urged not to do laundry during periods of flushing to avoid clothes to be stained. This is not harmful and will dissipate after a short time. It is recommended to run cold water for several minutes to clear your pipes. View the schedule

Walk-in Permit Applications Drop-off Time To Change

permit application hours change

Beginning Oct. 2, the hours of operation for receiving walk-in applications at the permit counter at the Lake County Central Permit Facility will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This change applies to all walk-in permit applications for the Health Department, Planning, Building and Development, Public Works, the Division of Transportation, and the Stormwater Management Commission. The Central Permit Facility, however, will be open at 7:30 a.m. and will close at 4:30 p.m., so residents can still drop off applications or paperwork if the permit counter is not staffed. 

The implementation of a new County-wide permitting system has expanded the number and types of permit applications that customers can submit online, reducing the need for people to visit our permit counter. Customers can now create an account to submit and pay for many permit applications electronically and review the status of their applications and inspections online. We analyzed traffic at our public counters and found that less than 5% of permit applications take place before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m.  Adjusting the hours slightly will allow us to staff our public counters more efficiently, while still meeting the needs of our Lake County customers. For information, please visit the Planning, Building and Development website.

Save the Date for Small Business Workshop

Attention business owners! Learn how to overcome the challenges of small business ownership and mitigate risk by joining a half-day workshop Oct. 11 at the University Center of Lake County in Grayslake. Topics include A State of Lake County from Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, Overcoming Challenges of Small Business Ownership, and Mitigating Risk with Subject Matter Experts. Sign Up.

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Forest Preserve News

National Public Lands Day

Celebrate National Public Lands Day
Grab some work gloves and join other Forest Preserve volunteers to save some of Lake County's natural areas on Sept. 30 at Rollins Savanna in Grayslake.  Dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves for brush clearing, seed collection, and tree and shrub planting. All ages are invited, and no prior experience is necessary. Register today

Ethel's Woods

Grants Received for Conservation Projects

  • Ethel’s Woods Forest Preserve: A $1 million Clean Water Act grant was received from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for work underway at Ethel’s Woods in Antioch. The grant will fund ecological restoration of the historical North Mill Creek riparian corridor.

  • Lake Michigan Lake Plain: A $1 million grant from the Sustain Our Great Lakes Partnership will help support continued restoration efforts for the Lake Plain project in northeastern Lake County. The grant, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will be used by the Lake County Forest Preserves and the Chiwaukee Prairie Illinois Beach Lake Plain Partnership to restore connected habitat key to sustaining and enhancing the biodiversity of the rare Lake Michigan Lake Plain ecosystem, which is part of the Great Lakes basin. The project will restore critical blocks of land through invasive plant and prescribed burn management strategies to increase acreage of connected quality habitat for the Blanding’s turtle and other federal and state-listed species of concern. Learn more

Middlefork Savanna Sept 2017

Bridge Connects Middlefork Savanna to Local Trails, Parks
At around 1:30 am on Sept. 9, the Lake County Forest Preserves began installing a 221-foot steel pedestrian bridge over the Metra Railway to connect trails at Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve to Lake Forest Academy and Townline Community Park. Watch video of installation. Other project elements include a scenic overlook, 10-foot-wide paved trails, and crosswalk improvements at the intersection of IL Route 60 and Academy Drive. View project map. This project is part of a larger effort to connect Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve and the Middlefork Trail and Greenway to the Des Plaines River Trail at MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve in Mettawa.

Middlefork Savanna

The Lake County Forest Preserves is pleased to be working with the following partners and donors to make this project possible: City of Lake Forest, Lake Forest Academy, Lake Forest Bank & Trust, Lake Forest Open Lands Association, and Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein. The Forest Preserve is the lead agency responsible for administration and coordination of the project and 60 percent of the local funding for construction costs. The Forest Preserve also secured federal funding for the project through a grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Learn more

Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve

Reimbursement Funds Received for Project Documents
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago provided a reimbursement of $147,899 for preliminary design plans created by the Lake County Forest Preserves for the reservoir expansion project at Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve in Long Grove. The Forest Preserves will use the reimbursement funds for future Capital Improvement Plan projects.

Help Give the Gift of Warmth to Veterans

veterans coat drive 2017

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Veteran’s Assistance Commission, several local law enforcement agencies and many local high schools to collect coats and outerwear for the Lake County Law Enforcement Veteran's Coat Drive. Donations will be taken now through Nov. 8 at County offices and at police departments throughout Lake County. View donation locations. The donated items will be delivered to Midwest Veterans Closet. 

Workshop to Help Veterans, Active Military Address Stress

Veterans and members of the military can learn practices to help better manage and release stress by joining a free introductory session to a power breath meditation workshop from 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 26. The workshop will take place Oct. 12 to 16 and is free to veterans, active military and family members. For information, call Bob at 847-322-5176, or email or Pam at

Kids’ Korner Celebrates Caring for 50,000 Children

Kids Korner 50,000

The Kids’ Korner at the Lake County Courthouse recently marked a milestone, caring for 50,000 children. The Kids’ Korner provides a safe and fun waiting area for children who are visiting the courthouse to testify or whose parents or guardians are conducting court business. Watch this video to learn more.

Lake County Recognized Nationally for Communication Efforts

Savvy awards

Lake County is delivering on its mission and values of operational excellence and transparency, and toward that goal, the County is being recognized for its outstanding communications achievements with three national awards. The County’s website ( received a first place Savvy Award from the City, County Communications and Marketing Association (known as 3CMA) — the top award for overall website among local governments in the U.S.  The “Meet Mitch and Hitch” video also took home the first-place Savvy award for promotional video. This video features the State’s Attorney’s Office’s two facility dogs and showcases the meaningful work they do. Finally, for the “Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent” category, the “Vote Like A Couch Potato” marketing campaign won a first place Savvy.  3CMA received nearly 700 entries in various categories, and 3CMA volunteer judges from across the country reviewed entries and selected winners. 

Community News

Help clean Gurnee's trails
Keep Gurnee Clean is a new volunteer group whose mission is to educate the Gurnee community and introduce an adopt-a-trail program. The group is planning biannual litter pickup days of the four Gurnee trails, with the first scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. Learn more

Save date for Oktoberfest
The Grandwood Park Civic Association will hold Oktoberfest Oct. 7 at the Hutchins Athletic Field. Enjoy kids games, face painting, German beer, bonfire, hayrides, fireworks and more. Details

Get moving with Go Gurnee walking club
Join the Go Gurnee Walking Club at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday through Nov. 4 at Viking Park. Everyone who registers receives a Go Gurnee t-shirt. Set a goal and reward yourself when you reach i!. Registration is required for this free program. Learn more


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