Use PASSAGE to check road conditions, Waukegan Savanna dog park update, and More

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Bill Durkin, District 8

December 7, 2018

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Lake County Board Elects Sandy Hart as Chairman and Mary Ross Cunningham as Vice-Chairman

Hart chariman

The Lake County Board elected Sandy Hart (District 13) as its chairman, which I had the distinct honor to introduce at its Dec. 3 meeting. The Board also elected Mary Ross Cunningham (District 9) as its vice-chairman. Both are two-year terms. View the video of the chairman and vice-chairman elected at the County Board meeting.


Hart has been on the board since 2012. Her district includes Lake Bluff, Wildwood, unincorporated Grayslake, and portions of North Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, and Gurnee. Mary Ross Cunningham has been on the board since 2002. Her district includes portions of Waukegan and North Chicago.  Learn more about Chairman Hart and Vice-Chair Cunningham.   

At this meeting, I joined 13 fellow County Board members who were sworn into office. Seven members are new to the board, and seven members, including myself, are returning to the board. Meet the Lake County Board members


County Clerk, Sheriff and Treasurer Sworn Into Office

Three new countywide elected officials were recently sworn into office following the November election. Robin M. O'Connor is the County Clerk, John Idleburg is the Sheriff and Holly Kim is the Treasurer. Find Out More

Forest Preserve Board Elects Angelo Kyle President, Julie Simpson Vice President

Kyle Simpson Forest Preserve

At a special election on Monday, Dec. 3, the Board of Commissioners elected their new leaders, choosing Angelo Kyle of Waukegan (District 14) as President of the Lake County Forest Preserves. The Board also elected Julie Simpson of Vernon Hills (District 18) to serve as Vice President. Both will serve two-year terms, which end December 2020.  

"I thank everyone for this privilege and wonderful opportunity,” Kyle said after he was named to the top post. He said he is looking forward to again serving and was taught by his parents that leadership starts with service. He previously served as a Forest Preserve Commissioner for 22 years, from 1990 through 2012. Learn more >>

Web Page Addresses Lake County Ethylene Oxide Concerns

There have been recent concerns regarding ethylene oxide emissions from two facilities in Lake County, Medline Industries in Waukegan and Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee. Residents seeking information about ethylene oxide in Lake County can find the latest updates at a webpage created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. EPA has been working with the Illinois EPA to examine emissions information from both the Medline and Vantage facilities to determine potential next steps. Questions and concerns should be sent via email to the U.S. EPA at

SNOW FACTS: Helpful Resources for Winter Weather

PASSAGE camera image snow season

View Camera Images from Major Intersections
Did you know that you can look in on the road conditions from your computer or mobile device before you hit the roads? You have access to the PASSAGE cameras which means you can look at real-time snapshots from major intersections. Go to, turn on camera images in “Layer Options” at the top right, find intersections along your route, and check road conditions in each direction. Looking at the camera images before you leave allows you to see how weather is impacting the roads. This can help you make decisions about how early to leave and which routes to take. 

LCDOT map of plow routes

Which Roads Does LCDOT Plow?
The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) plows Lake County highways, the ones marked with the five-sided blue and gold route markers such as Butterfield Road, Washington Street, and Buffalo Grove Road. View map of LCDOT snow routes. We do NOT plow state routes like IL Route 120 or IL Route 60. State routes are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

don't crowd the plow

Safety Tip: Don’t Crowd the Plow
Every year we ask drivers to remember to stay back when approaching a snow plow. This is for your safety, and the safety of our snow plow drivers. When visibility is low, and roads are potentially slippery, it is crucial to SLOW DOWN and STAY BACK! Watch now

Car Icon

Build an Emergency Kit for Your Vehicle
You may have an emergency supplies kit for your home, but what about your vehicle? Make sure to keep a shovel, blankets, booster cables, and these other items in your car this winter. 

Waukegan Savanna Dog Park Update

Construction of the new Dog Park at Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve in Wadsworth is nearing completion. The new turn lanes on Yorkhouse Road, parking lot, concrete walkways, perimeter fencing, shade shelters, drinking fountains and tree plantings are complete. Unfortunately, due to the unfavorable weather and poor soil conditions, the grass establishment has not proceeded as expected and will require an additional growing season in the spring 2019 before we can open to the public. The installation of site signage and benches will also occur in the spring. The anticipated opening is summer 2019. Learn more >>

Celebrate the Holidays in Lake County

Lake County holiday guide

Tis the season to be in Lake County, which is home to a plethora of holiday festivities to fill yourself up with holiday cheer. Check Visit Lake County’s holiday guide to find events to enjoy with family and friends.

Make an Impact on Lake County Homelessness

Point-in-Time Homeless Count

Volunteer for the annual Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count on Jan. 30, 2019. Each year, the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless holds the Point-in-Time Homeless Count where volunteers search across Lake County to interview and offer assistance to unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. The data gathered helps coordinate services for people experiencing homelessness and allows organizations to track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Apply to volunteer.

Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Zoning Changes

The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has scheduled a public hearing at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 to consider proposed amendments relating to rural business, local food, parking, landscaping, and other miscellaneous amendments. The hearing will take place at the Lake County Division of Transportation, 600 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville. Learn more

Join A Treasure Hunt Across Lake County

SMC geocaching

The Stormwater Management Commission has hidden four geocaches (boxes) around Lake County to teach you about stormwater best management practices and introduce you to a few of the beautiful areas our county has to offer!

Inside each box, find information about your current location, a question you must answer, and coordinates to the next location. Visit the geocaching website to get coordinates to the first location. Once you have them, you can put them into any map application. Geocaches can be located up to 30 feet from the posted coordinates.    


As with any good treasure hunt, there’s a prize. Visit all four sites and correctly answer the questions at each location to win an SMC geocoin. Please note there are a limited number of geocoins.

Forest Preserves Logo

Forest Preserve News

LCFPD winter snow and ice removal

Winter Snow and Ice Removal Operations
Lake County Forest Preserve staff will be performing adjustments this coming winter to reduce the amount of road salt applied during snow and ice removal operations. It is anticipated that the resulting reduction in the use of road salt will have positive environmental and financial benefits. Also, a corresponding reduction in staff time managing snow and ice is expected to allow for an increase of staff time invested in winter restoration activities. 


The following shelters will be not be open for use through March 31, 2019: Greenbelt A, C, and D; Nippersink C and D; Van Patten B, C and D. In addition, the following parking lots will not be salted: Buffalo Creek, Cuba Marsh, Grant Woods – Rollins Road, Lake Carina, Lyons Woods, McDonald Woods, Pine Dunes, Prairie Wolf – Route 22 Lot, Raven Glen – Route 45 Lot, Raven Glen (West) – Route 173 Lot, Ray Lake, Singing Hills, and Sun Lake.

LCFPD Symbols of Illinois Cardinal

Symbols of Illinois: Cardinal
Join us at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. to celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial (1818–2018) by learning about our state symbols. This is the final program in the 10-part series about the origin and natural history of the symbols. May include a brief walk. Drop-in program, no registration required. Learn more »

LCFPD winter recreation

Winter Recreation and Solar-lit Trails
Before heading out to a Lake County Forest Preserve for a winter hike or a twirl on the ice, check the status map on the winter sports page.

Solar-lit Evening Hikes
With small solar lights to guide their way, hikers, skiers and snowshoers can get some brisk evening exercise along the 1.3-mile fitness trail at Old School Forest Preserve in Libertyville and along a 1.65-mile hilly section of the Millennium Trail adjacent to the Winter Sports Area at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda.

Though regular preserve hours are 6:30 a.m. to sunset, the illuminated trails and adjacent parking lots will remain open after sunset until 9 p.m., daily through Sunday, March 10. Bicycle and equestrian traffic are not permitted on the lighted trails after sunset. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed.

To access the lighted trails, park at Lakewood's Winter Sports Area located on the east side of Fairfield Road just south of Route 176, or at Old School's main entrance lot located on the east side of St. Mary's Road just south of Route 176. Lake County Forest Preserve Rangers regularly patrol the areas. Learn more »

Quick Links

Lake County Forest Preserves 

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Lake County Partners 

Lake County Crime Stoppers


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 Open Gov/Board Meeting Agendas



Job Center of Lake County 


Community Links

Waukegan Park District 

City of Waukegan 

Waukegan Public Library 

School District 60 

Waukegan Township 

Waukegan Chamber of Commerce