Old McHenry Road update, Proposed 2019 budget keeps $3.4 million in taxpayers' pockets, and More

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Craig Taylor, District 19

October 9, 2018

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UPDATE: Portion of Old McHenry Road to Remain Partially Closed for Reconstruction and Intersection Improvements

Due to changes initiated by the contractor, the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) will be keeping the current detour route in place, instead of closing Old McHenry Road in both directions to through traffic, for the roadwork taking place on Old McHenry Road. The one block section of Old McHenry Road south of Robert Parker Coffin Road will remain limited to one-way southbound traffic only to Archer Road in downtown Long Grove. Downtown Long Grove businesses will remain open and easily accessible during this project.  For more information, including detour information, visit the project website.

Old McHenry Road

November 6, 2018 Election News

November 2018 election

Early Voting
In-person early voting for the Nov. 6 Election is now available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 19 at the Lake County Clerk’s Office, 18 N. County St., Waukegan.

Beginning Oct. 22, early voting will be available at 16 early voting sites throughout the county. Use any early voting site regardless of where you live. Find an early voting site near you.

Vote by Mail
Registered voters wishing to vote by mail must submit a completed electronic application or paper application to the Clerk’s office by noon Nov. 1. Voted ballots must be returned to the Clerk’s office bearing a postmark no later than midnight on Election Day. Complete your vote by mail application.

More Information
Visit LakeCountyClerk.info and click on the “November 2018 Election” icon to find voter registration information, preview your ballot, and details on how to vote by mail, early, or on Election Day. 

Proposed 2019 Budget Keeps $3.4 Million in Taxpayers’ Pockets

The proposed Lake County 2019 budget is balanced and the operating budget reflects a slight decrease from last year. The Lake County Board will hold budget hearings on the proposed budget later this month and will vote on it at its November meeting. In an effort to provide some relief to taxpayers, the County Board directed that the budget be developed keeping the County’s property tax levy flat (or not taking the allowable levy growth based on the Consumer Price Index). This keeps $3.4 million in taxpayers’ pockets.  The only increase in property tax revenue will come from growth on new property. The proposed FY19 operating budget—which funds the County’s day-to-day operations—is $3.3 million less than last year (or 1%) as a result of efficiencies from shared services with other governments, technology enhancements, and operational improvements. The budget can be viewed at lakecountyil.gov/budget.

County to Strengthen P-Card Program Policies

Following an analysis of Lake County’s P-card program, an independent firm concluded that there is not widespread misuse of Lake County P-Cards. However, the firm recommended Lake County update its policy, processes and procedures. Lake County has approximately 260 County-issued P-Cards used by employees, some board members and elected officials for County business related expenses. The firm analyzed a sample of Lake County P-card transactions representing 52% of total spending for 12 months and reviewed best practices from across the country. While the County has a policy that specifically defines appropriate expenses, the study’s findings show there are gaps that can be improved with stronger internal controls. Recommendations to be immediately implemented include: updating current practices and refining procedures to better document approvals and handle exceptions (including personal charges and late submissions); implementing regular departmental reviews of active cards and credit limits, as well as additional training.  The Board will also consider policy changes and updates to its rules that govern board members’ P-card use and consider measures to improve transparency, including posting P-card transactions to the County website.

P-Cards are a valuable procurement and payment tool used by governments, as well as businesses, because it reduces length of time to make a purchase or pay vendor, can decrease transaction costs and earn revenue through rebates. The Committee will review and discuss the action plan for implementing the recommendations at its next meeting.

Watch this video with Finance & Administration Chair, Mike Rummel.

Government Procurement Spotlight: Professional Services

In local government, much of what we do and how we do it is dictated by State and sometimes Federal laws. For example, Lake County government purchases a variety of goods and services and there are different ways to procure those services depending on what it is.  For example, when hiring architects, engineers and land surveyors, Lake County (and local governments) are required to use the Professional Services Selection process and award these contracts through a “Qualifications Based Selection.” This allows the County to evaluate a firm based on experience and expertise relative to the project, and cost is negotiated after the most highly rated firm is selected. 

How does it work? When professional services are needed, the department develops the project scope and then publicly advertises the request for services. Interested firms submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) and Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) and a selection committee –made up of professionals from the department—evaluate the proposals and select a minimum of three firms to participate in an interview/presentation. They rank the firms based on several criteria, including their expertise and past related experience.   The County then begins negotiating the number of hours it will take to complete the scope of services. The final contract is then presented to the Lake County Board for approval.   

Following this process is required by State and Federal law; it provides value to the County and helps us deliver cost-effective, efficient services to our residents because our Lake County team of professionals has selected the most qualified firm to perform the work, and these firms are then qualified to do similar work in the future, based on their past successful performance.  Learn More: Qualifications Based Selection FAQ’s

Public Works Sustainability Improvements

Public Works sustainability improvements

With more than 200 lakes and rivers in the county, it’s important to keep our water safe! Lake County Public Works has been working hard to increase their sustainability efforts to their water operations, from taking phosphorous and nutrients out of wastewater that can be harmful to aquatic life, to performing energy audits performed in coordination with the Illinois EPA. Watch Video

Sheriff’s Office Pilots New Crisis Outreach and Support Team

Crisis intervention team

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is piloting a new collaborative program with the Lake County Health Department called the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COaST) to support residents with mental or behavioral health illness who interact with law enforcement.

Within approximately three days of a law enforcement officer encountering a mental health interaction or an opioid overdose, the COaST deputy will arrange a meeting with the individual or “cold call” their residence. During that meeting, the deputy will check the well-being of the person and determine if he or she has sought treatment or services since the initial event. The deputy will then provide a “warm handoff” to the Health Department counselor, who will conduct a brief assessment, and if necessary, refer the person to appropriate services. Learn more

Help Give the Gift of Warmth. Donate to Veteran's Coat Drive

Veteran coat drive

Donate your new or gently used adult and children’s coats and outerwear to help area veterans and their families as part of the Lake County Law Enforcement Veteran's Coat Drive. The collection is running now through Nov. 7. Find a collection site near you.

Jail Visitor Entrance Relocated

Effective today, the public entrance of the Lake County Jail is moving from 20 South County Street to the lobby of the Community Based Corrections Center (CBCC) at 15 South Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Waukegan. The relocation is due to the ongoing renovations at the Lake County Jail.

Inmates being released from custody will be released at the CBCC Lobby. Any visitors coming to the Lake County Jail should also utilize the CBCC Lobby.

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Forest Preserve News

Untermyer forum

2018 Ethel Untermyer Conservation Forum: Preserving Lake County

Lake County has a rich history of preservation. Join Dunn Museum curator Diana Dretske on Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. as we step back in time to meet the individuals whose efforts preserved the county’s historical and natural heritage. Such as Robert Vogel, pictured here in 1957 with the Museum’s 420 million-year-old fossil. Learn more »

Halloween Hikes

Halloween Hikes
Join a guided group hike along a candlelit path at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center on Oct. 19 and 20 to watch fun nature-themed skits, followed by donuts and cider. The hikes are not scary. Even your littlest will enjoy this family favorite. Hikes begin every 30 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. Total event time is 90 minutes. Total distance walked is about 1.5 miles. Learn more »

Community News

Rand Road

What's Happening With..."
The Village of Lake Zurich continues its "What's Happening With..." series by reviewing the group of properties at 300 and 320 North Rand Road and 881 North Old Rand Road. This series, presented by the village, reviews the history, ownership, development activity and current conditions of various properties in the village that are often asked about. Read the story.

Scarecrow Fest
Enjoy pumpkin and cookie decorating, pony rides, scarecrow decorating, and more at the annual Barrington Scarecrow Fest. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. 

DIY Scarecrow Day
Also, join Long Grove's Do-It-Yourself Scarecrow Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 in downtown Long Grove.

Free Senior Car Safety Check

The Barrington Police Department has partnered with the Barrington Area Council on Aging to provide a free vehicle 21-point inspection to check for basic safety and maintenance issues. The service will be offered from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Learn more

Leaf Vacuuming 

The Village of Lake Zurich will begin leaf vacuuming the week of Oct. 22, which will continue until Dec. 8. Residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb by Monday morning for pickup by Waste Management that week. Learn more

Buckthorn Busters

European native buckthorn is an invasive shrub that is slowly destroying native oak woodlands and natural areas. Learn how to identify it and rid it from your property from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Learn more

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