New 911 Technology, CDC Mask Guidelines, Forest Preserve News and more


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Sandy Hart 2019

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May 28, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

While we are so fortunate to have so many people vaccinated in Lake County and across the country, over 1,000 Lake County residents have died as a result of COVID-19. Worldwide, 3.48 million deaths have been reported from the disease, including over 588,000 people in the United States. As we enter a new season of recovery in Lake County, we will never forget the great cost to our families and communities throughout the pandemic. Please read below information on how and where to get vaccinated. 

I am very grateful to the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have volunteered their time over the last fourteen months, whether it's making masks, donating food, or volunteering at the mass vaccination site, we could not have made it through this pandemic without them. I am proud of and thankful for our community members who have been quietly serving the people of Lake County.

I hope you have a safe and joyful holiday weekend, and that you are able to spend it with friends and family.

Take care,

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Lake County Government News  

Memorial Day

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day 

All County offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 31. We invite friends, family, and those who have served with fallen heroes to share the stories of those who fought and died for our freedom. Submit an Honor Post, consisting of a photo, written tribute and the hometown location of a fallen hero at this website.  

Over the holiday weekend, we encourage everyone to take some time to reflect and remember all of those who died while in the military in service to our country. We owe many of the luxuries and freedoms that we enjoy today to the sacrifice they made. I will be at the ceremony at the gazebo in Lake Bluff on Monday at 9:00 am, and I know there are many other memorial events across the county.

9-1-1 consolidation

911 Consortium Approves New Technology to Improve Public Safety 

In an emergency, response time is critical. In a step to improve 9-1-1 call-taking, dispatch services and public safety throughout Lake County, the Regional 9-1-1 Consolidation Consortium coordinated with the Lake County Board to enter into two contracts with Tyler Technologies of Troy, Michigan to replace and improve public safety technology for participating agencies. The new technology will include Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Mobile Messaging and more. 

The consortium includes 21 public safety entities working together to improve 9-1-1 service and increase public safety efficiencies for residents and communities. In 2019, the Consortium approved a general plan to move partners toward consolidation of 9-1-1 technology and future operations. Learn more 

Provide Input on Landscape Waste

Your Input Wanted: Open Burning and Landscape Waste Disposal Options in Unincorporated Areas 

Over the past two years, the Lake County Board Energy and Environment Committee has discussed alternatives to the open burning of landscape waste in the unincorporated areas to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents. Currently, Lake County is the only county in the region that does not place restrictions on the burning of landscape waste in its unincorporated areas.  

To better inform policy decisions, Lake County seeks to learn more about how residents are currently disposing of their landscape waste, what types of open burning restrictions they may like to see, and to gauge community interest in consolidated waste hauling services.   

Feedback on this important issue is welcomed from everyone in the community. Learn more and provide your input at Lake County's interactive website. 

June 7

Property Tax Bills Due June 7; EBilling Option Will Begin Next Year  

Lake County property tax bills were mailed earlier this month. The first installment is due June 7, and the second installment will be due September 7.  There are many ways to pay your bill, including online and pay by phone. New this year, individuals may choose to pay by echeck without incurring an extra fee. Learn more 

New Ebilling Option: Beginning with next year’s billing cycle, the Lake County Treasurer’s Office has announced that property owners may choose to take advantage of a new e-billing option to receive their property tax bills via email instead of receiving a paper bill. This will help save taxpayer money and is better for the environment! When you receive your property tax bill next month, you will notice a symbol with a registration code specific to your Property Index Number (PIN). Use the registration code to sign up, and all future tax bills will be emailed to you.

Infrastructure projects

Lake County Infrastructure Projects Being Considered for Federal Funding 

Several infrastructure projects in Lake County could get a much-needed boost as part of two new federal initiatives that identify and address infrastructure funding needs at the local level. Lake County leaders have been working closely with the County’s Congressional representatives, including Sean Casten (IL-6), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Lauren Underwood (IL-14), who submitted nearly $50 million in funding requests to Congress for several Lake County infrastructure projects.

The projects include funding for a new Lake County Emergency Operations Center, bike paths, projects to reduce flooding and more. Learn more 

Board Approves Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses in Unincorporated Lake County

On May 11, the Lake County Board approved an ordinance that permits adult-use cannabis businesses in unincorporated Lake County subject to certain restrictions. Per the ordinance, different types of adult-use cannabis facilities will be allowed to operate within the general commercial and industrial zoning districts including dispensaries and various support businesses, such as transporters, cultivators and processors. In particular, infusers, processors, craft growers and transportation facilities will be allowed by right within the industrial zones, while all other adult-use cannabis businesses will require a public hearing and the issuance of a conditional use permit from the Lake County Zoning Board of AppealsNo adult-use cannabis businesses will be permitted to operate in residential zoning districts.   Learn more

Art Impact

New County Art Exhibit Focuses on Emotional Wellness 

Lake County Government, in partnership with Art Impact Project, is pleased to announce an Art in Public Places exhibit entitled "Making Impact: How Art Enhances Emotional Wellness." The exhibit will be on display through the end of June at the County Administration Building, 18 N. County St., Waukegan. 

This exhibit features artwork created by adolescents and adults, including inmates at the Lake County Jail, who have benefited from Art Impact Project’s supportive group programming. Learn more 

Compost playbutton

SWALCO’s Composting Program Helps Reduce Food Waste and Improve Soil 

Last year, the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) received a federal grant to demonstrate the benefits of creating compost out of food waste. SWALCO distributes the compost it creates to local farms and community gardens, who use it to improve their soil.  Watch the video 

The SWALCO project is intended to develop a stronger, more vibrant circular economy for managing food scraps and other organic material like yard waste. It includes a compost to farmland/community garden demonstration study, strengthening the community gardening network, market development for compost, and education efforts to increase participation rates in the commercial and residential sectors. Learn more 

Michael Karner

New Regional Superintendent of Education Appointed 

At a special meeting on April 27, the Lake County Board appointed Dr. Michael Karner as the new Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools. Karner  replaced Roycealee Wood, who held the position since 2002, and recently resigned due to health reasons. Karner is an experienced educator who has spent most of his career in Zion, and most recently served as Principal of the Regional Safe School Program of Lake County. Learn more 

Lake County Receives Government Finance Officers Association Award 

Lake County recently received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. Learn more 

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Lake County COVID-19 Update  

covid-19 vaccine

It’s Easier than Ever to Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine 

There is ample supply of vaccine for everyone who is eligible. As of Thursday, May 13, the Lake County Health Department has opened COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 12 to 15 years old.  It’s easy to schedule an appointment convenient to where you live, and there are also many locations where no appointment is required and you can just walk in. 

To find a convenient vaccination location near you, visit, or call our vaccine helpline at 847-377-8130You may also create an account or login to your current account on our AllVax portal to schedule an appointment.

The last day of operations for the mass vaccination site at the Lake County Fairgrounds will be Monday, June 14. After that date, the Health Department will focus on offering vaccines through a community-based model, including providing vaccinations through mobile units and pop-up events in locations across the county. The vaccination site at 102 W. Water St. in Waukegan will also remain open. Learn more 

CDC guidelines

Mask Guidelines for the Fully Vaccinated 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new mask guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings. However, if you are not yet fully vaccinated (two weeks past your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two weeks past your Johnson & Johnson vaccine), you must continue to wear masks as before.  

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have aligned with CDC guidance and issued an updated executive order. Vaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks: 

  • On public transit  
  • In healthcare settings 
  • In congregate settings 
  • In schools and daycare settings 

We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. 

Coronavirus Data Hub

Current COVID-19 Data

Vaccination Count:  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), as of May 26, there have been 595,710 vaccine doses administered to Lake County residents, and 271,047 residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses. View IDPH Vaccine Administration Data 
Case Count: As of May 26, there are 61,461 Lake County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 1,001 deaths. View the Lake County Coronavirus Datahub   

Positivity Rate: As of May 23 the rolling 7-day average testing positivity rate in North Suburban Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry Counties, was 2.1 percent. View Region 9 information 

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Get Help 


Call 211 to Get Connected to the Help You Need  

If you need help finding food, shelter, rent or utility assistance, or other essential services, call 211 or TEXT your zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help 24/7. To receive general COVID-19 information via text message, text "COVID19" to 211211. For more information, visit   

FERA Rental Assistance playbutton

Learn More About Lake County’s Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program 

Lake County Chief Communications Officer Arin Thrower recently talked with Lake County Community Development Administrator Brenda O'Connell about the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which offers rent and utilities support for renters in Lake County. Watch the video to learn about who can qualify, and how either renters or landlords can initiate the application process. 

food pantry

Other Resources for Help 

Many individuals and businesses continue to feel the economic impacts of the pandemic. Here are some additional resources: 

  • Rental Assistance: Lake County’s new program for renters provides needed relief to those who need help making past-due or current rent and utility payments. Learn more 
  • Food for Families in Need: Check out the Northern Illinois Food Bank calendar for a list of mobile food pantries and pop-up food markets planned for Lake County. Find food 
  • Mental Health Support: The Lake County Health Department offers a free, 24/7 confidential hotline for those experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use issue. Call 847-377-8088 any time. Learn more 
  • Assistance with COBRA Premium Payments: Did you lose your medical benefits when you were laid off?  Learn about COBRA and a special healthcare subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 available through September 1, 2021 at the website for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.  Call 866-444-3272 with questions. 
  • Get Help Paying Your ComEd Bill: Commonwealth Edison offers many resources to customers who are having trouble paying their bill. Learn more 


Employment Resources

Are you looking for a job during this challenging time of layoffs, furloughs, and hiring freezes? Here are some helpful resources from the Job Center of Lake County:

  • Job Search Resources in a Rough Market; Tuesday, June 8 at 1 p.m. via ZoomAre you seeking a job or transitioning careers? The Job Center of Lake County can help! Hear our top tips for seeking work during a time of social distancing. Review our online tools to help you land your next job! Register here 
  • Your Personal Brand & Resumes; Tuesday, June 15 at 1 p.m. via ZoomAre you seeking a job or changing careers? Regardless of your job title or field, you have a personal brand. Learn how to customize your resume and other written tools to help you land a great job! Register here 
  • Find more workshops on the Job Center Calendar  
  • Onsite Help: The Job Center has computers you can use for your job search. Face coverings are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed. To schedule an appointment, call 847-377-3450. 
  • Get Hired Illinois: Get Hired Illinois is a single portal where individuals can access virtual job fairs, free online training, and current job listings.   
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Health Department News

Mental Health First Aid

Get Trained in Mental Health First Aid 

Learn how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The Health Department is offering Mental Health First Aid classes virtually.  This new virtual class is a two-hour self-paced course, followed by four hours of virtual instructor-led training. The new curricula includes expanded content on trauma, addiction, and self-care. Learn more and register 

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Transportation News


2021 Construction Projects Will Ease Traffic and Reduce Emissions 

Construction projects that will be undertaken by the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) this year will improve traffic congestion, increase safety, and reduce carbon emissions.  

The 30 projects, involving an infrastructure investment of $109 million, feature road widenings, a new roundabout, bike path connections, resurfacings and adaptive signal controls and more. Learn more 

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Stormwater Management Commission News

Kurt Woolford

Kurt Woolford Appointed Executive Director of LCSMC 

Congratulations to Kurt Woolford, who has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC). He has worked for Lake County since 2007, starting off as an engineer, providing program oversight to SMC's regulatory, engineering and flood response operations.  

He has been a driving force behind Lake County's updates to the Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO), a countywide ordinance that sets minimum requirements for the stormwater management aspects of development within Lake County. He is dedicated to protecting, conserving and promoting the beneficial functions of water resources and green infrastructure. Learn more 

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Public Works News

lawn sprinkler

Summer Water Restrictions in Effect for Lake County Public Works Customers 

From May 15 to Sept. 15 of each year, County ordinance prohibits the use of water for outside and landscaping purposes between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. In addition, outside water use is restricted to certain days of the week. Even-numbered addresses can use outside water on even-numbered days, and odd-numbered addresses on odd days. Typically, as we move into the later parts of summer, we have much hotter and drier conditions, which may lead to additional water-use restrictions. 

Bill Payment Assistance for Lake County Public Works Customers  

Beginning July 1, 2021, water and wastewater shutoffs will resume for Lake County Public Works customers who are behind on their water and sewer bills, as the statewide moratorium on shutoffs that has been in place since March of 2020 is expiring. If you need assistance paying water or sewer bills, please call 2-1-1, where you will be connected with someone who can help you. Renters who need assistance paying any rent or utility bill, including water and sewer, may also apply for the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. 

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Forest Preserve News 

FP Bonds

Bond Rating Helps Lower Tax Bills 

We have been awarded the AAA bond rating by Moody’s Investors Service, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world. Of the 250 rated recreation districts nationwide, the Lake County Forest Preserves is one of only a handful rated AAA. 

The importance of the AAA rating was highlighted on April 7, when the Forest Preserves sold a $58.8 million series of bonds to refinance $64.8 million of its outstanding bond issues. The sale resulted in about $11.2 million in total savings in tax levies through 2034. Over the past seven years, refinancing these bonds has saved taxpayers about $25 million with the inclusion of this issueLearn more» 

Forest Preserves - New Website

New Website Launched 

Check out our new website at It was designed with ADA compliance in mind and with new features that make sure everything web users would need is just a click away or easily searchable. A few new features include: 

  • A new one-stop shopping cart that allows customers to process all their online purchases in a single transaction. They can now add to their cart multiple permits at once, register for multiple events, purchase a product from the Dunn Museum, and donate to the Preservation Foundation all in one easy checkout process. 
  • Customers can now also make purchases from their mobile device––like registering for events, purchasing a permit, buying a t-shirt from the Dunn Museum, or making a donation to the Foundation––all from their phone or tablet. 
  • The new website is responsive on all devices. You can now switch easily from your phone, tablet, or computer and be able to see all of the same information as page content automatically scales to fit your device screen. 

Forest Preserves - DunnTV YouTube

DunnTV YouTube Channel Introduced 

The Dunn Museum in Libertyville added a dedicated YouTube channel to its mix of strategies to further engage its audience. Named DunnTVthe channel gives viewers an inside look at the Dunn Museum, operated by the Lake County Forest Preserves at its headquarters at 1899 W. Winchester Road. 

"We are dedicated to sharing the entwined stories of people, events and nature through exhibitions, education, and community engagement," said Andrew Osborne, superintendent of educational facilities. The channel features videos about the Dunn Museum's collections and exhibits, programming, Lake County history, and other information. Learn more»  

Forest Preserves - Hawk

Saying Goodbye to our Education Hawk 

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of our resident education red-tailed hawk, who passed on May 7, 2021. At 33, she was one of the oldest red-tailed hawks on record and a true education ambassador. She lived her life at the Ryerson Conservation Area where she inspired many visitors. Her legacy will live forever in the more than 500,000 people she inspired. Learn more» 

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Shelter Reservations

Picnic shelter reservations for 2021 are available.  Reservations and capacity limits are subject to change in response to ongoing COVID-19 safety protocols and public health guidelines. Refunds will only be issued if COVID-19 guidelines require the Lake County Forest Preserves to reduce capacity or suspend group gatherings and cancel your permit.

Purchase permits online, by phone or in person at the General Offices in Libertyville. To communicate with staff regarding customer service questions, call 847-367-6640 or contact us onlineLearn more»

Forest Preserves Summer Camps

Virtual Summer Camps

An array of virtual nature and history summer camps are available through the Lake County Forest Preserves. Registration is open for the 2021 season.The camps are designed to keep children safe while delving into Lake County’s nature and history. Campers will take part in live sessions with educators, then try outdoor and off-screen activities themselves. Farming, pondering plants, bugs, prehistoric Lake County, and fishing are included in the camp topics. The weeklong camps run from June 14 through August 6. For a full roster of virtual camps, visit Learn more» 

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Community Events and News

Garden Learning Series

Learn How to Maintain Your Vegetable Garden 

“The Vegetable Garden’s Planted: Now What?” is the latest class in the 2021 Garden Learning Series sponsored jointly by the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and the University of Illinois Extension, Lake County. It will be held virtually via Zoom on June 9 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Learn more and register 

CLC Summer Start

CLC Free Summer Classes Help Prepare Students for College-Level Work 

New students needing to complete a math, English or English Language Instruction (ELI) course that leads to college-level classes are eligible to participate in the Lancer Summer Start program at the College of Lake County 

The program pays your tuition, fees, and required textbooks for one pre-college math, English or ELI course and CLC’s college success seminar, CLC 120. You pick the schedule that’s best for you. Any student beginning their education at CLC in summer 2021 and continuing enrollment for fall 2021 is eligible to participate! Learn more 

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Watch All County Board and Committee Meetings 


All Lake County board and committee meetings are continuing to be conducted remotely. Meetings are live-streamed at and on cable television (Comcast channels 18 or 30, depending on where you live, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99). The public is also welcome to view the livestream of all meetings in-person at 18 N. County Street, Waukegan, 10th Floor Assembly Room. 

To maintain proper social distancing, the number of persons permitted to attend will be limited. Public comments can also be submitted by email and phone call. Learn more    

To see a current schedule of board and committee meetings, click here 

All meetings are recorded, and are posted on the Lake County website.