Property assessment appeal, Proposed countywide paratransit system, Farmers markets, and More


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Sandy Hart 2019

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July 29, 2021

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Dear Neighbor,

I hope you've been having a great summer! It has been so nice being able to see so many people in person, and I certainly hope that Lake County residents stay safe and that we can go into fall with continued low positivity rates. 

Today at our Finance & Administrative Committee meeting we heard an Economic Development Update from Kevin Considine, President of Lake County Partners. There are many exciting things happening, and I've included a link to the presentation here for your review. We also discussed the options for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds provided by the US Treasury to Lake County for use in COVID-19 Public Health Emergency response and recovery. Lake County has been allocated $136 million, which can be spent on:

  • Infrastructure and capital investment
  • Economic and business investment
  • Household assistance (rent, mortgage, utilities, water)
  • Public health response
  • Investment in county operations

There will be much discussion on this over the next several months. Scroll down to the bottom for a link to where you can access agendas and video of previous meetings.

Three years ago, tired of the wet and muddy spots in our backyard and wanting to attract pollinators, we tore out the non-native plants in our backyard borders and put in native prairie plants. It's been really fulfilling to see all the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies as well as the spectacular flowers! I was honored to be asked to be part of a native garden tour and was happy to be able to speak to so many people about our experience with our garden and how we resolved our stormwater issues at our home.

As always, it is an honor and privilege to represent you on the Lake County Board and Forest Preserve Board. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sandy Hart Signature

Sandy Hart
Lake County Board District 13
Sandy Hart Webpage

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Lake County Government News  

Provide Input: Open Burning and Landscape Waste Disposal in Unincorporated Lake County 

open burning

Lake County seeks further feedback through a new input form as Lake County continues to evaluate open burning and viable landscape disposal options in unincorporated Lake County. Visit Lake County's interactive website to learn more about the issue and submit your input. 

The input form is intended to gather information from Lake County residents. No decisions have been made at this time regarding open burning policies or waste hauling services.  

Open burning is expected to be discussed on Aug. 4 at the Lake County Public Works, Planning and Transportation Committee/Energy and Environment joint Committee Meeting. The public is welcome to attend the meeting virtually through Zoom, and in person. More information on how to attend will be provided in advance of the meeting on Lake County’s website  

Attend Aug. 4 Meeting to Learn About Proposed Countywide Paratransit System  

Pace Bus Paratransit

For more than a decade, Lake County along with communities, townships and transit partners have been evaluating and working to enhance transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities. This is often referred to as "paratransit." 

The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is excited to introduce a proposed new countywide coordinated paratransit system at an informational public meeting at 4 p.m. Aug. 4. The new service aims to provide borderless countywide paratransit service, meaning users can get transportation to any area of Lake County for work, shopping, medical appointments, and more.  

The meeting, which will include a presentation and opportunity to ask questions, will be held virtually through Zoom and in person at the Lake County Division of Transportation, 600 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville.   

Register to join meeting on Zoom 
Learn More  

New Investment Strategies Help Recapture Lost COVID-19 Revenue  

The Lake County Treasurer’s Office announced that in Fiscal Year 2020 they earned $9.7 million in investment income across all funds for Lake County. By using improved investment strategies over the past two years, the Treasurer's Office was able to recapture lost COVID-19 revenue in Fiscal Year 2020. Learn more 

State Funds to Address Two Programs that Address Juvenile Justice 

A pioneering new treatment program will be created and a defunct juvenile justice leadership council will be revived after the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office recently secured two state grants totaling more than $100,000. 

In a first for the area, a $50,500 Illinois Juvenile Justice Grant will help create a new “Step Up” program to aggressively break the cycle of domestic violence. Juveniles who complete the 21-week program will have the chance to have charges expunged from their records permanently, removing a potential future barrier to employment and other achievements. 
A separate $55,700 state Juvenile Justice grant will help to revive and strengthen the Lake County Juvenile Justice Council. The council will provide a forum for agencies and departments to address issues surrounding juvenile delinquency and provide outreach to the community and youth. Learn more 

Sheriff’s Deputies Complete Crisis Intervention Certification Program 

Sheriff John D. Idleburg is pleased to announce the milestone of 99% of Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies successfully completing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certification training program. Those trained as CIT deputies during the week-long certification program received specialized training to help them evaluate various mental health crisis incidents stemming from a variety of mental health conditions including: schizophrenia, substance abuse related disorders, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.  After conducting an initial assessment, sheriff’s deputies then utilize skills they learned to effectively communicate and use de-escalation techniques with those experiencing a crisis. Learn more 

Lake County Continues Art in Public Places Exhibit Throughout Summer 

Lake County Government announced the newest Art in Public Places exhibit, "Mixed Media Invitational: Healing and Material Processes” can be viewed now through Sept. 10 in the main lobby of the Lake County Administration Building, 18 N. County St., Waukegan. Learn more 


Art in Public Places summer

Lake County Wastewater Treatment Plant Named Best in Illinois

Public Works Award trophy

The Lake County Des Plaines River Water Reclamation Facility in Buffalo Grove received the coveted Public Works Plant of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators. The award uses standards set by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing wastewater treatment facilities in Illinois that exemplify the best safety and preventive maintenance practices and the use of modern technology to serve the community.

Water reclamation facilities are critical to ensuring that harmful substances are removed from wastewater before being released back into the environment. Lake County Public Works is committed to implementing the best sustainability practices at all of its facilities to protect one of the region’s valuable resources – our water. 

Lake County Recognized for Reducing Barriers to Solar Energy 

Solar energy

Lake County recently received national recognition for its efforts to make it easier for residents and businesses to transition to solar energy. The county earned the highest possible designation (Gold) from the national SolSmart program, which recognizes Lake County’s efforts to reduce barriers to solar energy growth in the unincorporated areas and simplify the process for the community to install solar systems.  

Residents of local municipalities who are interested in obtaining solar permits should reach out to their municipality. Those who reside in unincorporated Lake County can learn more by visiting our Solar Energy web page.

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Property Assessment News

Property Assessment Notices Are Being Mailed

Property Assessment

Assessment notices have been sent out for Libertyville, Shields and Warren townships. Notices will continue to be mailed to other townships in Lake County through July and August.   

What is A Property Assessment? 
It may help to think of the property tax process like a pie. Taxing bodies, including school districts, villages and the county (and many other taxing districts) determine how much they need to collect in taxes.

That determines the size of the pie, and the property assessment determines how the pie is cut up. The assessment process ensures property taxes are fairly distributed. Elected township assessors are primarily responsible for appraising properties and determining a property’s value, which ultimately determines the portion of the total tax burden (or piece of the pie). If you have questions or concerns regarding the assessed value of your property, you should discuss this with your local township assessor’s office

Understand Your Property Assessment   
Get free, one-on-one assistance to evaluate your assessment and learn about a homestead exemption, which can potentially provide tax relief. Taxpayer advocates are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Chief County Assessment Office, 18 N. County St., 7th Floor, Waukegan.   

Filing an Appeal Using our Online System  
Property owners that decide to appeal must do so electronically. An appeal can be done in a few minutes using the new SmartFile E-Filing Portal. No attorney is required for a residential appeal. Watch this video to learn more about the process to file an appeal online.   

Learn More
The Chief County Assessment Office has created a web page with appeal filing deadlines for each township, and helpful information and resources for the 2021 assessment notice season. Visit 

summer in lake county

Lake Bluff Pedestrian Bridge

The pedestrian bridge over Rockland Road/176 looks great and is scheduled to open on August 7th! This was a jointly funded project of the Village of Lake Bluff and Lake County Dept. of Transportation and will make for safer travel along our bike paths. There are over 500 miles of bike paths and trails in Lake County;  here's a link to Bike Lake County, a great mapping site that you might find useful. I'm also including a link to a presentation regarding our Bike Path Wayfinding Study to improve the experience as people use our trails. 

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Lake County COVID-19 Update  

Health Department Urges COVID-19 Precautions as COVID-19 Cases Increase  

The Lake County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to slow the resurgence of COVID-19 as cases steadily increase in Lake County over the past month. The majority of cases nationwide have been in unvaccinated individuals. 
More than 739,000 doses have been administered to Lake County residents, and over 51 percent are fully vaccinated. A
lso, 85 percent of Lake County residents ages 65 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. 
Learn more

Water Street Vaccination Site Transitions to Offer Only Walk-in Service 

covid vaccine

The Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Site at 102 W. Water Street in Waukegan has transitioned to walk-in service and no longer serves as a drive-through site. The Water Street site operates from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.  

The Water Street site provides all three vaccines authorized in the United States, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, depending on the current supply available. Walk in and register at the Water Street location, make an appointment through the Lake County AllVax Portal or call 847-377-8130.

Make Sure You’re Vaccinated for a Chance to Win $1 Million

all in for the win

As an Illinois resident, if you’ve been vaccinated or are about to get vaccinated, you’re automatically entered in for a chance to win a prize in Illinois' $10 million vaccine sweepstakes. The first drawing occurred on Thursday, July 8 and concludes on Monday, Aug. 16. 

Vaccinated adults are entered into a $7 million cash prize pool. Three $1 million jackpots and 40 $100,000 cash prizes are up for grabs.

Vaccinated youth ages 12 to 17 are entered into a $3 million scholarship pool. Twenty $150,000 scholarship awards are being offered. 

Learn more 

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

COVID-19 Helpful Links

Find a Vaccine
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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. Visit for information.   

COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Relief for FHA-Insured Mortgages 

mortgage relief

Are you struggling to keep up with mortgage payments on your FHA-insured mortgage because of COVID-19? Take action to keep your home. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a program that allows homeowners to work with their mortgage servicer to request forbearance (mortgage payment relief) to pause or reduce monthly mortgage payments.  

You must request this assistance from your mortgage servicer by Sept. 30, 2021.  Learn more  

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 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: Northern Illinois Food Bank operates a traveling food pantry that delivers nutritious food directly to those in need and coordinates pop-up food markets across Lake CountySome upcoming locations include Waukegan, Highwood, Grayslake, Fox Lake and Ingleside.  Find food 
  • Help for Veterans: The Lake County Veterans Assistance Commission can help veterans and their families with a variety of issues, including financial help, survivor spousal benefits, burial arrangements and more. Call them at 847-377-3344. 
  • 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 

Employment Resources

The economy is opening back up, and demand for workers is increasing. The Job Center of Lake County is your career solution! Their mission is to cultivate and connect Lake County employers and workers to fuel economic growth and well-being in Lake County. Check out these Job Center events: 

  • IT Career Lab Information Session: 10 a.m. July 29: The IT Career Lab can help you find your tech career. Attend this session to learn more about this hands-on training program (and how to receive a free laptop computer). Register today 
  • Resume Assistance: 1 p.m. Aug. 4: Use the Job Center’s computers to create a new resume or bring an electronic copy of your resume to edit. Seating limited. Registration is required. Call 847-377-3450 to reserve a seat. 
  • Check Get Hired: The State of Illinois launched Get Hired Illinois – a web portal designed to connect workers with available job and career training opportunities across the state.  
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Forest Preserves Logo 2020 Redesign

Forest Preserve News 

Focus on Net-Zero Buildings

Forest Preserves - Ryerson

As stewards of healthy landscapes and proponents of climate resiliency, officials at the Lake County Forest Preserves altered their Capital Improvement Plan to prioritize and accelerate current net-zero building goals and lead the way for others. A net-zero building, also referred to as a zero-energy building, produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, reducing the use of nonrenewable energy.

These buildings use cost-effective measures to reduce energy usage. At the Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods, planners at the Lake County Forest Preserves are currently working with design architects to replace aging classroom cabins with a new net-zero environmental education center. A similar style of building for grounds maintenance at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda is in the design phase. Learn more» 

LCFD National awards earned

Two National Awards Earned  

The Lake County Forest Preserves and two of its volunteers have earned national awards. The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) comprises 122 park and special recreation districts from across the country, of which the Lake County Forest Preserves is a member organization. The Association issued the awards.

Lake Villa residents Joyce and George Proper were awarded the Outstanding Volunteer award. The couple has volunteered for decades and collectively donated more than 10,000 hours in the last 15 years alone. The Growing Through Change project at Grant Woods Forest Preserve earned the Conservation Award. The Lake County Forest Preserves has launched a research project to restore 180 acres of former farmland within the preserve using a climate-adapted, regionally sourced native seed mix. Learn more»  

Prairie origami

Prairie Origami 

Grab a cup of tea and unwind with the relaxing art of origami during a “Prairie Origami” program from 7 to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 9 at Ryerson Welcome Center in Riverwoods. Participants will learn about prairie ecology and create prairie inhabitants step-by-step using only paper and scissors. The cost is $5 for residents and $7 for nonresidents. Tickets are required.  

net zero building initiatives

Net-Zero Building Initiatives

As stewards of healthy landscapes and proponents of climate resiliency, Lake County Forest Preserve leaders altered their Capital Improvement Plan to prioritize and accelerate current net-zero building goals and lead the way for others. A net-zero building, also referred to as a zero-energy building, produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, reducing the use of nonrenewable energy. These buildings use cost-effective measures to reduce energy usage.  

At the Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods, planners are working with design architects to replace aging classroom cabins with a new net-zero environmental education center. A similar style of building for grounds maintenance at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda is in the design phase. Learn more»

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Community Events and News

farmers market with effect

It’s Summer! Time To Visit the Farmers Markets 

Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, baked treats and more while supporting local businesses and gathering with neighbors, friends and family. Check out Lake County’s farmers markets. 

Architectural gems

Visit Lake County’s Architectural Gems 

Lake County is home to some of the quintessential facilities that are must-view buildings. Some are ageless wonders, some are beautiful and gaudy to look at and some are eccentric out-of-place structures that define Lake County. Check out Visit Lake County’s guide to 15 architectural gems across Lake County. 

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Watch All County Board and Committee Meetings 

All Lake County board and committee meetings can be viewed on and on cable television (Comcast channels 18 or 30, depending on where you live, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99). The public also is welcome to attend all meetings in person at the Lake County Administrative Tower, 18 N. County Street, Waukegan or may attend meetings remotely using the registration link on the front page of each meeting’s agenda.  


Individuals attending meetings in person or remotely may present their public comments during the meeting. Those not in attendance may provide written public comment via email or by mail. View the current meeting schedule. 

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