Watch budget hearings, Property Check, Trick or treating hours, and More


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October 28, 2021

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Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you, family and neighbors well. 

As we rake and crunch through our annual budget hearings this week, I've been thinking a lot about trees. Lately, though, I was wondering how we can plant more of our arboreal friends. 

Trees give us splendid, mostly unseen gifts every day. They store carbon, water, and reduce stormwater flow. Their canopy reduces air temperatures. Unfortunately, building, disease and Euro-American settlement has profoundly changed the sylvan nature of our county. 

Lake County was once home to a thriving oak savanna ecosystem. Sadly, some 88% of it has been lost to development. This devastation has impacted the air, water and quality of life for a wide range of creatures, including us. More than 3,000 animals depend on the oak ecosystem for survival, including an astounding variety of birds, squirrels and insects. As a "keystone" species fundamental to the health of our local ecosystem, we want to restore and expand native oak woodlands.

That's why the Forest Preserve District is engaged in a long-term Woodland Habitat Restoration Project, which is in its ninth year. 

"The goal is to improve conditions for natural oak regeneration, improve habitat for woodland birds and amphibians and increase the diversity of native shrubs, grasses, sedges and flowers in the groundlayer, according to Ty Kovach, executive director of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "Over time, monitoring will continue to advance our understanding of how to restore our oak woodlands."

By the way, biodiversity protection and enhancement is also one of our prime goals. As the most biodiverse county in Illinois, we're taking a leadership role in restoration and preservation. Want to help us restore and grow our preserves? There are multiple ways you can help.  

I know, having sadly lost a magnificent spruce tree to disease (likely triggered by climate change) recently, we will be planting more native trees and shrubs to accompany the two splendid oaks on our property. See this excellent Forest Preserve video to learn how you can help.

Another great Forest Preserve happening for your calendar: “Ansel Adams: Early Works” exhibition opens at the Dunn Museum in Libertyville starting November 6. The show will feature many less well-known prints from Adams’ early career. 

Wasik introduction

Finally, thanks to our friends and 18 volunteers from Valent BioSciences – a corporate partner and neighbor. They continued their annual tradition of collecting seeds from the Rollins Savanna Native Seed Nursery. We'd like to see more corporate and/or foundation partners like Valent. They more than doubled their support to our Preservation Foundation this year.

Be well, enjoy the autumn splendor and be safe on Halloween: Official Trick-or-Treat times are from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, October 31 in Grayslake and Hainesville.

It's always my honor to serve you. If you have immediate need for county services, please call 2-1-1. I'm also thrilled to speak before your community group. 


John Wasik Signature

John Wasik
Lake County Board District 6
John Wasik Webpage

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Lake County Government News  

County Board To Review Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Budget 

FY 22 budget

The Lake County Board is conducting its annual hearings on the County’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 recommended budget on Oct. 26, 27 and 28 where the board will carefully examine the proposed budget and make recommendations prior to adopting the final budget in November. This proposed $601.5 million budget incorporates the recovery of revenues back to pre-pandemic levels and reflects the County’s long-standing approach to adopting a budget in a fiscally responsible manner that is sustainable into the future. 


The public is welcome to attend these meetings through Zoom and in person at the Lake County Administrative Building, 18 N. County St., 10th Floor, Waukegan. 

View the proposed FY2022 budget and the meeting schedule.
View the recorded FY2022 budget hearings

Progress Continues toward Proposed Consolidated Emergency Facility

Proposed ETSB facility

The Lake County Board approved at its October 12 meeting to enter a contract to provide design services for the proposed Consolidated Emergency Operations, 911, and Emergency Telephone System Board Facility. The proposed location for the facility is the west side of Lake County’s Libertyville campus. The project design is scheduled to be completed the end of 2022.  

Since 2018, Lake County has been working alongside numerous Lake County municipalities and agencies to explore the consolidation of 911 services with a focus on improving reliability, capability, and efficiency. Learn more.

Factors Determined as Part of Reapportionment Process for Next County Board

The Lake County Board approved an ordinance determining numerous factors of the County Board as part of the reapportionment process. Following recommendations by the County Reapportionment Committee, the size of the Lake County Board to be elected shall be 19 members. The members shall be elected to single-member County Board districts, and the County Board Chair shall be elected by the County Board members. Also, the County Board members shall be compensated by an annual salary.

The Reapportionment Committee will continue to meet over the next several months to discuss and determine the County district maps. Learn more about the Reapportionment Committee

Update on Open Burning Restrictions in Unincorporated Lake County

open burning

At its September meeting, the Lake County Board extended the current temporary open burning ordinance that applies to unincorporated Lake County until January 1, 2022.

Throughout 2021, the Lake County Board has also been exploring options and alternatives for permanent restrictions on landscape waste open burning and consolidated waste hauling services (including landscape waste) in the unincorporated areas. Per Lake County Public Works, Planning and Transportation (PWPT) Committee direction, Lake County staff is currently working this fall on amending the current ordinance to include permanent regulations on the open burning of landscape waste and a landscape waste hauling franchise program. These items will be discussed at a PWPT meeting at a later date and will be open to the public. Learn more

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Lake County COVID-19 Update  

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. 211 is multilingual with English and Spanish speaking staff and interprets more than 150 other languages. Learn more


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  
  • Back to Business (B2B) Grant Program: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has set up a helpline to assist small businesses who wish to check their application status. Call 312.924.2189.
  • 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 County. Find food  
  • Help for Veterans: The Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County can help veterans and their families with a variety of issues, including financial help, survivor spousal benefits, burial arrangements and more. Call 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 Job Center of Lake County has partnered with local employers to help connect jobseekers with local companies that are hiring. View the full Job Center calendar to learn about various upcoming events and resources.

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Transportation News

Gilmer Road to Close for Culvert Replacement

The Lake County Division of Transportation will be closing Gilmer Road, from Fairfield Road to Fremont Center Road, to through traffic starting Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to reopen late afternoon on Wednesday, Nov. 10. The closure is necessary to replace a culvert west of Fremont Center Road. View detour information.

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Autumn Ushers in Peak Season for Deer and Vehicle Crashes. Be Safe on Roads

deer safety

As we enjoy fall, drivers need to be more vigilant and watch for deer on the roads. Autumn coincides with deer mating season and increased deer movement, particularly at dusk and dawn. Nearly 40 percent of crashes involving deer in Illinois occur in November and December. Learn how to ensure your safety on the roads.

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Health News

Learn Steps to Reduce Childhood Lead Poisoning in Your Home

lead poisoning

As more families spend time at home due to COVID-19 and the change of weather, the chances of exposure to lead can increase. During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week this week, learn how to reduce childhood lead poisoning. The first way is to remove lead hazards from the environment before a child is exposed. The second way is to get a blood lead test if a child may have been exposed to lead. Learn more

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Property News

Sign Up for Property Check

property check

The Recorder of Deeds Office is doing more to protect residents from potential property and mortgage fraud by providing Property Check. Property Check is a free, easy-to-use, 24/7 online service that will alert subscribers, via email or text message, whenever a document is recorded against their name and/or property. To address this concern, register today.

Nationwide Natural Gas Price Spike Expected To Mean Higher Heating Bills 

North Shore Gas is letting customers know heating bills will likely rise as the temperatures fall due to a nationwide spike in natural gas prices. The price of natural gas has more than doubled this year and currently sits at the highest level in a decade. The increase is due mainly to tight supplies and a worldwide increase in demand for natural gas. Read the news release to learn more.

To help customers in the greatest need, bill payment assistance is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps eligible customers with a one-time payment toward energy bills. To learn eligibility and apply, call the Community Action Partnership of Lake County at 847.249.4330, or go to

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Forest Preserves News 

Ansel Adams Exhibition Opening November 6

Ansel Adams

A nationally acclaimed exhibition, “Ansel Adams: Early Works,” is running at the Dunn Museum in Libertyville from November 6, 2021 through March 27, 2022.


Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was a giant in the field of landscape photography. One of the most influential photographers of his generation, Adams is famous for his dramatic photographs of the American West. His images were informed by his belief in the transcendental concept of the “sublime”—a complex combination of overwhelming awe and fear. Learn more »

Buffalo Creek Earns Award

Buffalo Creek

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning honored the Lake County Forest Preserves through its recent Regional Excellence Awards program during its inaugural State of the Region event.

The Lake County Forest Preserves received the Regional Resilience Award for its collaborative work on a $9.7 million project to expand the Buffalo Creek Reservoir and increase the region’s resiliency against flooding. The project expanded the capacity of wetland terraces, improved erosion control and added recreational amenities for users. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated the project will reduce future flood damages by more than $26 million. Learn more »

2022 Budget Approved

LCFPD budget 2022

In order to continue moving toward the 100-Year Vision and Strategic Plan to preserve and sustain Lake County's natural landscape and extend community outreach and education, the Lake County Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners approved the fiscal year 2022 budget of $63,617,824 at its October 12 meeting.


The 2022 budget represents a decrease of $22,164,404 (25.8%) over the current year budget. It covers expenditures for the period from January 1 through December 31, 2022. Learn more »

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Community Events and News

Check Your Village’s Trick-or-Treat Schedule

trick or treat

It’s that time of year when youngsters go door-to-door in the neighborhood and demand people to smell their feet and provide their taste buds with some nourishing sugar treats. View your village’s trick-or-treat hours.

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Watch All Committee and County Board 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. Here are links to the most recent board and committee meetings, including the video recordings and agendas: