Serving Lake Bluff, Wildwood, unincorporated Grayslake, and portions of Gurnee, Waukegan, North Chicago, and Libertyville.  
 March 6, 2013





Lake County Board Committees
Building, Planning, & Zoning
Health & Community Services
Law & Judicial
 
 
 
 
Lake County Forest Preserves Committees
Finance
Planning & Restoration
 
 
 
 
Special Appointments
Community Development Commission
 
Stormwater Management
 Dear Resident,  

Thank you for your interest in Lake County government!  Whether you live in a municipality or in an unincorporated area, county government is important to you.  Approximately 7% of your property tax goes to Lake County, and another 3% to the Forest Preserves. 
I hope you find this newsletter informative on Lake County issues.  If you have any questions about the following information, or anything related to county or forest preserve business, please let me know.  Also, If you have meetings in your neighborhood that you would like me to attend, or if there are concerns in your community that I should know about, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,
    

 

 

What We're Working On 

 

Here are just a few of the issues we're discussing on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board:   

  • The first Strategic Planning community forum was held last week at the Central Permit Facility.  We heard from residents about their vision and priorities for the future of Lake County.  There is another meeting tonight at Trinity University in Deerfield, with the Open House from 6:00-7:00, and the forum at 7:00 pm.  The full list of meetings and an opportunity to add comments may be found here.
  • Transportation is the largest expenditure in the Lake County budget, and 2013 is scheduled to be a busy year for our county roads.  There are several projects already underway, and more in various planning stages.  To view a list and map of projects, both large and small, click here.  
  • The County Board continues to focus on Winchester House, evaluating privatization.  We require Health Dimensions Group, the management company, to conduct yearly surveys to ensure our residents receive a high quality of care.  A recent survey of employees, residents, and their family shows a high level of satisfaction, and I will continue to closely monitor the progress of privatization.
  • Due to the impending retirement of the Executive Director of the Forest Preserve, Tom Hahn, we are in the process of hiring our new Executive Director.  I will keep you posted on the selection.
  • The Forest Preserve is reviewing the 5-year Capital Improvement Projects, taking into account expected revenues and costs of a variety of projects.  We will continue to maintain and make necessary improvements to our preserves, facilities, and bike paths.  
Lake County Budget In Brief
Forest Preserve Budget

Certainly the most important policy document of any organization is the budget.  Lake County and the Forest Preserves operate on a December-November fiscal year, and we will begin planning for our 2014 budget in May. You can view the county's Budget in Brief, full budget, and the Forest Preserve's budget through these links or by visiting the websites.  Both organizations have received a Triple-A bond rating, in recognition of strong financial management and a manageable debt burden. 
Route 53 Extension Update

The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors approved a $4 million contract with Schaumburg-based TranSystems Corp. that will continue to plan for the proposed extension of Illinois Route 53/120 in Lake County. TranSystems will develop a detailed engineering concept, evaluate cost estimates, refine traffic and revenue analyses and survey customers' willingness to pay tolls on the proposed extension. The contract also includes services to study the environmental and economic impacts of the project.

The Illinois Route 53/120 Extension is expected to cost between $2.3 and $2.7 billion. Cost estimates developed as part of the detailed engineering concept will inform future discussions on how to finance the project and potential sources of revenue.   
Leave No Veteran Behind 

 

In partnership with the Veteran's Administration and other local organizations, Lake County created the Veterans Treatment Assistance Court (VTAC), designed to help eligible veterans coming into the criminal justice system.  VTAC gives our veterans a second chance and the opportunity to get their lives back on track. Veterans and their families receive extensive treatment and services, as well as mentoring from fellow veterans.  This process brings the specialized treatment our veterans receive through the VA into the legal process while still seeking justice on behalf of the citizens of Lake County.  Veterans Court has resulted in reduced recidivism and, most importantly, an improved quality of life for our veterans. Upon completion of the program, veterans go through a graduation ceremony.  To learn more, click here.  
 
If you are interested in attending an upcoming graduation ceremony, please let me know.
Lake County Economic Outlook
Last week I attended the Lake County Chamber of Commerce Annual Forecast.  Mr. William Strauss, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, spoke about 2012 results and his outlook for 2013. He outlines his forecast based on jobs, inflation, manufacturing, housing, vehicle sales, and other indicators.  He expects 2013 to continue on trend from 2012, with moderate increases in manufacturing and a decline in unemployment.  If you are interested in viewing his presentation, please click here. 
Board of Review - Now Hiring

 

The Board of Review is currently seeking alternate board members to assist with assessment appeal hearings from October 2013 through January 2014. An exam will be conducted by the Illinois Department of Revenue on Thursday, March 21, at 9 a.m. in the Lake County Administration Building, located at 18 North County Street in Waukegan.

 

To be eligible, a person must be qualified by experience and training in real estate, a resident of Lake or McHenry Counties, and have passed an examination prepared and administered by the Department of Revenue. For an application, additional information, and study materials, contact the Board of Review. Completed applications must be returned no later than 10 a.m. on March 20.

 

Lake County Board of Review: 847-377-2190

Save Money-Try Public Transportation

The price of regular unleaded gas in the Chicago area is up 50ยข from a month ago.  Transit options such as Pace, Metra, and CTA save commuters money and provide a relaxed and reliable way to commute. Using public transportation saves an average of $942/month.  Find out your potential savings using the Transit Savings Calculator.

 Lake County Forest Preserve News
Forest Preserve Receives Land Donation
Mr. George Covington, a dedicated Lake County conservationist , has generously donated an eighteen-acre conservation easement abutting Grainger Woods.  This acreage - a mix of wetlands, mature woodlands, and old field - provides an important buffer to this precious preserve .  The Forest Preserve is extremely grateful for this valuable gift and for Mr. Covington's continued commitment to Lake County's open spaces.
 
Maple Syrup Hikes

Reserve your spot for our popular Maple Syrup Hikes. On this one-hour hike, learn how trees work and about the sweet sap of sugar maples. Everyone gets a taste. Hikes begin every half-hour. Please dress for the weather, as this program is outdoors. March 2-17, Saturday and Sunday, all ages. To register for this class, or any other class, view the calendar
Community Events & News
Enjoy the Journey
Congratulations to Ingrid Lustig, who received a bronze medal from the Prudential Spirit of Community contest, for her website, Enjoythejourneylfhs.com.  Ingrid created the website to help other students who struggle with the rigors of academic requirements, extracurricular activities, and the pressures of high school life.  
 

Take Out Your Toxic Trash!  

Saturday, March 9-Appointment Required

Lake County residents can bring CFL (fluorescent) bulbs, unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines, household cleaners, gasoline, garden chemicals, pesticides, oil-based paints (no latex) and varnishes, as well as other household chemicals to SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County), 1311 N. Estes Street, Gurnee.  This collection is for residential waste only.

Transportation Job Fair for Veterans 
Thursday, March 21, 9 a.m. - Noon
Gurnee American Legion Post #771
749 N Milwaukee Ave, Gurnee