Lake County News: December 2019


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Sandy Hart 2019

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December 18, 2019

Large Happy Holidays

Dear Neighbor,

Our board is committed to providing the highest quality of life for Lake County residents, and to being good stewards of the environment.  I’m especially pleased to report that our board recently approved an agreement that will bring solar power to Lake County-owned buildings, as well as facilities owned by local municipalities.  Additionally, as part of our 2020 budget, we approved funding to support multiple projects to help alleviate stormwater runoff and reduce flooding.  You can read more below. 

At this time of year, I think about how blessed I am for the opportunities I have had in life, and reflect on how I can help those who are less fortunate.  One project that I and and several other county employees have participated in each year is our annual Point-in-Time homeless count, where we seek out and offer assistance to homeless individuals in Lake County.  This year’s count will take place the evening of Jan. 22, and you can find information below about volunteering.

Every month, I report out to my colleagues and I've included the December Report for your reference. I hope you will take a moment to read about some of things we are working toward to improve the quality of life in Lake County and to ensure that our government is being efficient with your tax dollars.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your representative to the Lake County Board, and to have served as Board Chair for the last year.  Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a peaceful and safe holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year.

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County News

Solar Power Coming to Government Buildings  


Exciting News! Our board recently authorized a Solar Power Purchase Agreement to install solar panels at ten Lake County-owned facilities! This agreement is a joint effort-led by Lake County with seven participating municipalities- to bring solar power to government buildings. 36 sites are slated to get solar power as part of this process. This is an example of how sharing expertise and contracts can reduce costs and advance projects countywide. 

Board Approves Funding for Projects to Ease Flooding  


The record flooding that has impacted Lake County residents over the past years has resulted in serious property losses. The Lake County Board approved an increase in the 2020 budget for the Stormwater Management Commission (SMC), the entity that manages projects to alleviate flooding.  The funds will support multiple projects throughout the county and will have a significant impact in addressing two of the county’s biggest problems--stormwater runoff and flooding. Please note that through state and federal grants, SMC is able to leverage their monies, adding $3 in grants for every $1 spent. Over the past few years, Lake County has experienced stronger and more frequent rainfall, and an increase in flooding. Because of this, stormwater management projects have become critical. Work will be focused on three improvement areas: surface water/flood mitigation infrastructure, flooded property buyouts, and stream maintenance. Learn More

Lake County’s 211 Service—Connecting People to the Help They Need 


Lake County is very proud to be a key sponsor of the United Way of Lake County’s 211 helpline,

put in place to directly connect residents to the vital health and human services needed. In just the last few months, 2-1-1 has responded to more than 2,000 requests from Lake County residents and connected them to housing and emergency shelter, mental health services, assistance with utility bills, referrals for legal assistance and more. 

This free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service provides a convenient way for everyone in Lake County to get connected to help, regardless of the time of day, the language they speak, or where they live. 

Volunteer to Help End Homelessness in Lake County
January 22, 2020  9:30 pm - 2:30 am


For the last four years I have participated in the Point-In-Time count, with over one hundred volunteers, to help fight homelessness in Lake County. Every January, the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless organizes volunteers to fan out across the county in search of homeless people and connect them to shelter. The information gathered captures a picture of what homelessness looks like on any given day, helps coordinate services for people experiencing homelessness, and provides organizations with the information needed to end homelessness. This year’s PIT Count will be Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

 Learn more to volunteer or help in other ways. 


Lake County is now among a small group of communities in the nation that has officially ended veteran homelessness, based on certifications from the federal government and Built for Zero, a national nonprofit organization.

Ethylene Oxide Air Monitoring Results Received

The Lake County Health Department, Village of Gurnee, and City of Waukegan have received initial results from the second phase of outdoor air monitoring for ethylene oxide (EtO) near Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee and Medline Industries in Waukegan. 

The second phase of outdoor air monitoring in Lake County began Oct. 26. Samples are being collected from 12 sites every third day during a 90-day period, which will end in January 2020. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is funding the monitoring. The results have been forwarded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Illinois Department of Public Health, and IEPA, which has regulatory authority over EtO emissions permitting in Illinois.

Recycle Your Unwanted Holiday Lights

Lake Bluff residents can bring unwanted holiday lights to the electronics drop off container at the Public Works facility. Wire string holiday lights and extension cords will be accepted.  Other drop off locations: 

  • Highland Park: City Recycling Center, 1180 Half Day Road, Highland Park, Tuesdays 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and first Saturday of the month 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Grayslake: Village Public Works Facility, 585 Berry Avenue, Grayslake, Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to Noon. 
  • Grant Township: Road District Facility, 26535 Molidor Road, Ingleside, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Village of Mundelein, including Village Hall, the Public Works Facility, and Fire Stations #1 and #2, Monday -Friday 8:30 am - 3:30 p.m. 

What Can Be Recycled? Check out SWALCO’s New Guide  

Figuring out what can go in the recycling or compost bin can be confusing! SWALCO is here to help with a new interactive online guide that lets you search the town you live in, learn what materials are accepted, and help you recycle correctly. Knowing what to recycle and what to put in the trash cuts down on recycling contamination, which puts a burden on recycling plants. This guide is specifically designed for your municipality as each recycling facility in our region has different guidelines regarding the recyclable items they collect. Learn more 



Crisis Outreach and Support Team Records Successful First Year 

Crisis outreach team

As part of Lake County's ongoing efforts to help those with mental health illness, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce a successful first year for the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COaST). The COaST team consists of a specially trained Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Lake County Health Department licensed mental health counselor. 

Within approximately three days of a law enforcement officer encountering a mental health interaction, COaST arranges a meeting with the individual or a “cold call” to their residence.  During the meeting, COaST checks the well-being of the person and determines if they have sought any treatment or services since the initial event.  COaST then provides a “warm handoff” to the Health Department, or if necessary, refers the person to appropriate services.

Out of the 785 referrals given by sheriff’s deputies, COaST personnel have successfully contacted 654 people and offered additional resources, including referrals to the Lake County Health Department and other health service providers.  Learn more 

Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Local Government Officials

Scam alert

Please be aware of a new scam in which people call Lake County residents and pretend to be a member of the Sheriff’s Office.  The caller then informs the victim that a Lake County judge has issued an arrest warrant. The victim is then instructed to purchase a “voucher” in order to avoid arrest.  

Please know that the Lake County Sheriff's office would NEVER call residents and request money. If you receive a call like this, the best course of action is to hang up, block the caller’s telephone number, and file a report with your local law-enforcement agency.

Organizations Receive Grants from Housing & Community Development

Each year, our staff at Housing & Community Development Commission (HCDC) review grant applications from organizations across Lake County that are seeking federal and local dollars to be used for projects that focus on improving Lake County, making it a place where residents of all income levels have the opportunity to live, work and thrive. All grants go through a rigorous evalulation process and if approved, must achieve clearly defined milestones within a selected timeframe. HCDC awarded $3.7 million to 27 recipients to achieve the following:

  • Acquisition and/or rehab of existing buildings and building new affordable and mixed-income housing in order to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for low and moderatencome households and special needs populations
  • Ending homelessness in Lake County
  • Provide direct assistance to facilitate and expand home ownership
    among and/or to provide rental assistance to persons of low- and
  • Revitalize Low/Mod Income Area Business Districts
  • Provide services to people with disabilities and accessibility
    modifications to the homes, facilities and workplaces of people with
    disabilities, including the elderly
  • Create or retain jobs for low- and moderate-income persons by
    providing assistance to business (e.g. small business incubators, small
    businesses and/or microenterprises)
  • To support low- and moderate-income workers in need of either
    transportation for access to employment or access to affordable,
    quality child care
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Job News

Engineering job fair

Lake County Engineering Internship & Job Fair  Friday, Jan. 3, 1-3pm, College of Lake County,    19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. 

Attention college students:  Set yourself up for success this summer while you’re home over winter break! Top engineering firms such as HydraForce, Flex, Culligan, and MacLean-Fogg will be under one roof looking to connect with students in various engineering fields. In one afternoon, you can meet directly with hiring professionals to discuss your goals and launch your career. Employers are hiring for summer internships and permanent positions. Please bring copies of your resume. Business attire encouraged.

Apply for Census 2020 Jobs  

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people for temporary jobs. Apply, and with one application you may be considered for several positions, including census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff—and help your community while getting paid. Learn how to apply 

Find more recruiting events by visiting the Job Center of Lake County. 

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Health News

Prevent the Flu and Stay Healthy This Holiday Season  

As the holidays approach, protect yourself and your family—get your seasonal flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the flu. The flu is a highly contagious virus that can have serious complications. In addition to getting your flu vaccine, the Health Department recommends following the 3 C’s to prevent the spread of flu: clean, cover, and contain. 

3 c - flu vaccine
  • Clean—clean your hands frequently by washing your hands with soap and warm water or using an alcohol-based hand rub 
  • Cover—cover your cough and sneeze 
  • Contain—contain your germs by staying home if you are sick 

The Lake County Health Department continues to provide flu vaccinations by appointment at its Community Health Centers. To schedule an appointment, call the Patient Access Center at (847) 377-8800. Many health care providers and retail locations also offer the flu shot. Contact your provider to see if they have the vaccine or find a convenient location using the Flu Vaccine Finder: 

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County Clerk’s Office News 

Make Sure You’re Ready to Vote in the March 17, 2020 Primary

Verify that you're registered: You can confirm that your voter registration record is up to date with your current name and physical Lake County street address by logging on to

If you need to update your record or register for the first time, visit the Voter Registration web page for qualifying requirements and in-person, online, or by mail registration options.

You must provide:

  • Valid Illinois Driver's License or State ID
  • Last four digits of Social Security number
  • Date the license or ID was issued, AND
  • Your birth date.
voter registration

Vote by Mail: Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 18, Lake County registered voters can submit the required application to request a ballot by mail for the March election.


Severe winter weather could prevent you from going to your voting site on Election Day. Lake County Clerk Robin M. O’Connor is encouraging registered voters to vote by mail, including students away at school, traveling snowbirds, and those who be out of town on Election Day.

Prefer vote mail

This option allows any registered voter to receive and mark a ballot from the comfort of his or her own home or have a ballot sent to a temporary alternate address.

It's simple to vote by mail. Complete the short, required application form and return it to the Lake County Clerk’s office before noon on Thursday, March 12.

Applications are available beginning Wednesday, Dec. 18 by: 

  • Visiting
  • Calling 847-377-2406, or
  • Emailing your name, date of birth, and address to

Pending state certification of the candidates, ballots will be printed and mailed beginning Feb. 6. Mail your voted ballot back to the Lake County Clerk’s office with a postmark no later than Election Day, March 17. 

Watch All County Board Committee Meetings

Keep informed about Lake County government! Watch County Board meetings live at 9 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. You can watch meetings live online or on Comcast channels 18 and 30, or AT&T channel 99. You can also view archived board meetings and standing committee meetings anytime.

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Forest Preserve News


Salt Reduction Efforts

For the second consecutive winter, the Lake County Forest Preserves will reduce the amount of road salt applied to forest preserve roadways, sidewalks and parking areas during snow and ice removal. Salt reduction offers environmental and financial benefits.

Though it seems to disappear in spring, most of the season’s road salt remains in our water and soil. Excess salt deteriorates water quality, harms native aquatic species, makes soil more susceptible to erosion, and corrodes infrastructure.

Salt reduction efforts showed positive results last winter. During a typical winter, operations staff is called out about 15 times to plow snow and apply salt. Because of last winter’s high snow totals, staff responded 28 times. Thanks to the adjustments made in 2018–19, approximately the same amount of salt was used last year as would have been traditionally used in a typical year, despite nearly twice as many snow and ice events.

The Forest Preserves will make more adjustments to further reduce the amount of road salt applied this winter. Signs indicating “Low Salt Area Ahead” will be posted at most preserves where salt reduction efforts are in place. 

I wanted to share this fun and informative Daily Herald article on all the wonderful resources that your Forest Preserves provides, even in the winter! Just a few fun facts: There are 44 strategically placed scenic overlooks in the Lake County Forest Preserves. Lake County is home to more endangered and threatened species than any other county in Illinois. We plow eight miles of paved trails at three forest preserves. Learn more »


Solstice Glow Walk


The amount of daylight starts increasing on Dec. 21. Celebrate by taking a late afternoon hike. The Lake County Forest Preserves will provide the glow and the trail to explore during the Solstice Glow Walk. The event takes place at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 21, at Ryerson Woods–Welcome Center. All ages are welcome with adult supervision.

More Loan Boxes Available 

Environmental educators expanded an initiative to area teachers in providing fresh, interactive science lessons for their classrooms. Themed boxes pertaining to mammals, insects and ecosystems join the bird-themed box that debuted in the spring. The new loan boxes, that support Illinois Learning Standards, feature a strong focus on wildlife habitats in Lake County. Learn more » 


loan box
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Community Events and News

Register for Spring Semester at College of Lake County 

Make 2020 the year you begin your bachelor’s degree, work toward an 
associate degree or certificate, start 
a new career or develop your talents at the College of Lake County. Spring semester classes begin Jan. 21, and registration is now open. View course offerings, both classroom-based and online.
 Find classes and register, call (847) 543-2090, or stop by and inquire at -

Grayslake Campus - 19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake
Lakeshore Campus - 33 N. Genesee Street, Waukegan
Southlake Campus - 1120 S. Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills 
Learn more  



Holidays Around the World – Gurnee 

The multicultural program for families will celebrate the traditions of Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Chinese New Year at one event!  
Thursday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Road, GurneeRegister 



Frosty Fest 

Enjoy ice sculpting, horse-drawn carriage rides, dog–sled demonstrations, sledding, snow fun, festive winter games and more with family and friends. On Saturday, Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bittersweet Golf Club, 875 Almond Road, Gurnee. Learn more    



Holiday Event and Activities 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 out Visit Lake County’s listing of holiday events and activities to enjoy time with family and friends. Learn more