Follow us on Twitter
Text SANDRA to 22828 to Sign Up                                              August 11, 2014 
Dear Neighbor,                                                                                                  


As summer begins to wind down, I hope you have taken advantage of your Forest Preserves and trails in and around Lake County.  As you'll read below, there are two major additions to our trail system that will provide important connections for pedestrians and cyclists.  This could not have been accomplished without the partnership of conservation organizations, municipalities, companies, and the leadership of Commissioner Mike Rummel, with whom I am honored to serve.  

I am proud to have worked with Cynthia Maloney, Shields Township Supervisor, to bring Dial-A-Ride services to seniors and disabled adults living in Shields Township.  Tonight kicks off the first informational meeting, which will be held at 7:00 pm at the Public Safety Building in Lake Bluff.  This critical service is the result of collaboration between Shields Township, Pace, LCCTSC, and the Lake County Dept. of Transportation, and has the support of the Lake Bluff Village Board and the Lake Forest City Council.  Dial-A-Ride offers low-cost transportation for people in need to attend medical appointments, get to work, and achieve independence (please read more below).  


Over the next months, I will be reviewing the 2015 budget, attending Route 53 meetings, receiving updates on the county courthouse tower project, and, as always, attending the regular meetings for the committees on which I serve:   
  • Lake County Planning, Building, and Zoning
  • Lake County Law & Judicial
  • Lake County Health & Community Services
  • Heroin and Opioid Task Force
  • Sexual Assault Coordinating Council
  • Stormwater Management
  • Community Development Committee
  • Forest Preserves Planning & Restoration
  • Forest Preserves Finance Committee
It is a pleasure to serve you on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board.  If you have any suggestions or questions, please don't hesitate to let me know.


Thank you,

Tax Assessments

Homeowners should now have received their blue assessment notices in the mail.  If you believe your home is over-assessed, you can file an appeal.  Due to a 2013 ruling by the Board of Review, homeowners must appeal the assessment themselves or retain an attorney.  If you do choose to appeal your assessment, the last filing date is:

  • Shields Township:               August 18
  • Libertyville Township:      September 2
  • Waukegan Township:        September 8
  • Warren Township:              September 10

The Chief County Assessor's Office is holding drop-in Help Centers in Vernon Hills and Grayslake to provide free one-on-one assistance in evaluating property assessments.  For those of you living in Shields Township, there are three sessions available to you to attend prior to the final filing date:

  • Wednesday, August 13th, 5:00pm-8:00pm, University Center of Lake County, 1200 University Center Drive, Grayslake
  • Thursday, August 14th, 5:00pm-8:00pm, College of Lake County (Southlake Campus), 1120 South Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
  • Saturday, August 16th, 9:00am-12:00pm, University Center of Lake County, 1200 University Center Drive, Grayslake

For a complete list of FREE drop-in help sessions, please click here.


To learn more about the complex subject of property tax assessments, such as how assessments impact your property tax bill, the appeal process, and how to access helpful resources, you can watch this short video.

Important!  Do you have Homestead Exemptions on Two Properties?
A new state law gives the Chief County Assessment Office authority to recapture taxable value in instances where property owners have received homestead benefits erroneously. Lake County is providing an amnesty period for the remaining months of 
2014 in order to gain compliance. More Information
Dial-A-Ride Services for Shields Township Residents

Through a partnership between Shields Township, Pace, LCCTSC, and the Lake County Department of Transportation, Shields Township is introducing a Dial-A-Ride service for seniors and disabled residents aged 16+ who need transportation to work, shopping destinations, medical appointments, school, etc. 

The service area includes all of Shields Township and the following locations: 

  • Highland Park Hospitalparatransit bus
  • Walmart Supercenter at Fountain Square in Waukegan
  • Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills
  • Greenleaf Medical Complex in Gurnee
  • Lake County Center for Independent Living in Mundelein
  • Erie Family Health Center in Waukegan
  • College of Lake County campus in Grayslake.   

Service will begin October 1st and each one-way fare will be $3.00. Riders must reserve a pickup time (Monday through Friday, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm) 24 hours in advance.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this service, please join us at one of the informational meetings:

  •  August 11, 7:00pm - 9:00pm, Public Safety Building, 45 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff
  • September 17, 1:30pm - 3:30pm, Dickinson Hall, 100 E. Old Mill Road, Lake Forest
Middlefork Savanna Pedestrian Bridge and Trail Connection
For the past ten years the Lake County Forest Preserve District has been in discussions with several partners regarding a possible Pedestrian Bridge and Trail Connection that would be the first step toward a larger effort to link Middlefork Savanna and MacArthur Woods forest preserves and connect the Middlefork Trail & Greenway and the Des Plaines River Trail.

Over the next several weeks the District, the City of Lake Forest and Lake Forest Academy will be finalizing an Intergovernmental agreement to pave the way for construction of the first phase of the project, which includes constructing a 0.25-mile trail and 220-foot-long steel bridge that will stretch over the Metra railroad tracks and connect the existing trails at Middlefork Savanna to Academy Drive.

Closing the Des Plaines River Trail Gap

Last month the Forest Preserve board unanimously approved a small land purchase that will have huge benefits for our cyclists and pedestrians using the Des Plaines River Trail.  This small purchase was the final segment needed to provide a continuous stretch of trail from from Russell Road, just south of the Wisconsin border, to Lake Cook Road, where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve trail system.   Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2015.  More

Opioid/Heroin Task Force
In past newsletters I've written about the Heroin task force on which I serve, which is a collaborative effort between public safety officials, first responders, the health department and hospitals across Lake County to address the rising problem of use and abuse of opioids, including heroin and prescription pain medications.  Recently our first responders completed training on the use of Naloxone - a drug that is used to reverse an opioid overdose and save lives. Learn more and watch this video from a public meeting about this issue held earlier this year.
Board Seeks Proposals for Lease and Replacement of the Winchester House Nursing Home
In an effort to ensure Winchester House's long-standing tradition of providing high-quality care continues and to pursue a replacement facility, the Lake County Board took action to begin the process of leasing the skilled nursing facility to a private company. The County will seek proposals from private operators to lease the existing facility in Libertyville for two years, while the company becomes the licensed operator and explores building a new facility in the county.  Watch Video
New Animal Care & Control Facility
Lake County Health Department New Animal Care and Control Center Facility

The Lake County Health Department has opened a newly constructed facility to house our lost pets and stray animals, replacing the old facility in Mundelein.  Over 1,300 cats and dogs come through the Animal Care & Control facility every year, and 76,000 rabies tags are processed.  The new facility will offer low-cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics while giving animals a safe and secure home until they can be reunited with their owners.   

Possible Discount on Flood Insurance Policies
If you live in unincorporated Lake County and your home is in a floodplain, you may be able to save up to 20% (or $227) on your flood insurance policy.    To determine if you are located in a floodplain, please visit our Flood Information page. To see if you qualify, contact your flood insurance agent. 
Homeowner Deed Scam
The Lake County Recorder of Deeds office has received calls from concerned residents reporting an ongoing scam involving fake companies soliciting homeowners to purchase a certified copy of the deed to their home for $90. For your protection, all requests for copies of deeds should be handled directly through the Lake County Recorder's office. For questions, or to report a scam, call the Lake County Recorder of Deeds office at 847.377.2575.
Data Shows Strength of Lake County's Economy
Lake County is the only suburban county in the metropolitan region to have recently seen both a drop in the unemployment rate and an increase in the labor force-a strong sign that jobs are being created in Lake County. Learn more in this interview with Chairman Aaron Lawlor and Lake County Partners' Executive Director Mike Stevens.
West Nile Virus Hotline-Report Dead Birds
West Nile Virus is a danger to humans and cause severe illness and death.  To report sightings of dead birds or blue jays or to report areas of stagnant water, call the West Nile Virus hotline: 847.377.8300. Visit the Lake County Health Department's West Nile Virus page for more information.
Job Center News

Unemployment Insurance and Job Search Assistance
The Illinois Department of Employment Security handles unemployment claims electronically. Visit or call 800.244.5631 with unemployment questions.


Job seekers can get help finding a job or may qualify for training in a new field.  Find out more at the Job Center of Lake County.  


Job Search Workshop: How to Market Yourself
Set yourself apart by learning how to present knowledge, skills and experience. Call 847.362.2330 to register. Flyer
Tuesday, August 12, 6:30 p.m.
Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills


Job Center Events in August
From workshops and networking events, to childcare options and career services for Veterans, mature workers and ex-offenders, the Job Center of Lake County has a full lineup of August events to help you find your next job.

Sandra Hart, Lake County Board, District 13

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.