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The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
September 18, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Hearing Oct. 6
  • April 6 Election
  • Rt. 60 Work
  • Meeting Schedule
  • New Trustee
  • TIF Discussion
  • Body Cams
  • Emergency Plan
  • Tennis Courts
  • Public Comment
  • Orchard Church
  • Bus Offer
  • Trick or Treating
  • Vet Collection
  • Preparedness
  • Census
  • Markets
  • Reach Out

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Artist's rendering of Centennial Real Estate's
preliminary plans for rejuvenating Hawthorn Mall


Public Hearing

Hawthorn Mall Redevelopment 

Tuesday, October 6 • 6 p.m.

Village Hall 
290 Evergreen Drive, Vernon Hills

 
Background
 
The Village, Hawthorn Mall owners, taxing body partners, business groups and the wider community have been working to determine ways to support the rejuvenation of Hawthorn Mall. One economic development tool available to support any redevelopment effort is to create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, which calls on taxing bodies to work in partnership today for long-term gains realized in the future. A TIF freezes property taxes at the level being collected when the TIF is created, then uses any incremental growth created by improvements over the life of the District to help cover the costs of things like infrastructure improvements for new roads, utilities, lighting, etc. By working together, all taxing bodies and the wider community benefit from the improvements that are developed over the life of the TIF.
 

October 6 Agenda
 
  • Presentation by TIF Consultant 
  • Public Comment
 

Resources
 
 

Village Board Positions
Up for April 6 Vote

The April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election ballot will include a variety of local elected positions, including the position of Vernon Hills Village President as well as four Village Trustee positions (three 4-year term seats and one 2-year term seat). Candidates may begin circulating petitions September 22, 2020. The first day to file completed packets will be December 14, 2020.

Packets will be available at Vernon Hills Village Hall, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., starting on September 22. Interested candidates may also learn more by visiting the Candidate Services webpage provided by the Lake County Clerk. For more information about Village roles and responsibilities, please contact Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer at 847-918-3550 or mfleischhauer@vhills.org. Note that other local organizations (including Boards that govern schools, park districts, libraries and townships) will also have open positions in the April 6 Consolidated Election. 
Route 60 Resurfacing
The Illinois Department of Transportation has started to resurface Illinois 60 from Belvidere Road in Volo to Route 83 in Mundelein. While Route 60/Townline Road in Vernon Hills is not part of the project, it is expected that lane closures up the road will impact traffic through the Village. Work is scheduled to wrap up by next summer.
 

BOARD ACTIONS

Meeting Schedule:
    
   Tuesday, October 6*
   Tuesday, October 20
   Wednesday, November 4**

 
  • In-person meetings have resumed at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive, beginning at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Note that masks, social distancing, capacity restrictions and other measures will be in place to support a safe environment.  
  • *The October 6 Board meeting will be preceded by a Public Hearing for the Hawthorn Mall Redevelopment Project, starting at 6 p.m.
  • **The November 4 meeting has been moved to Wednesday due to the election.
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage. 
  • Agendas and minutes are posted online; Meeting recordings are available on the Village YouTube Channel
  

Actions of Interest

Forster Appointed to Vacant Board Seat: During the September 15 Village Board Meeting, Village President Roger Byrne announced his selection of Nancy Forster for the Trustee position vacated by the resignation of Kari Brown, who moved out of the Village. Per the vacancy process, Trustees then confirmed the appointment. Forster will be sworn in during the October 6 Village Board Meeting. As background, Illinois statutes direct that Trustee vacancies be filled within 60 days by appointment. Based on the length of the remaining term, this two-year seat will be up for election on the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election ballot. Thank you to all of the individuals who stepped forward in willingness to serve the community.

Public Comment TIF Discussion: During the public comment portion of the September 15 Board Meeting, residents raised several questions about a proposed Tax Increment Finance District to support the revitalization of Hawthorn Mall. Mayor Roger Byrne pointed out that this TIF requires no Village bonds, but rather is a "pay-as-you-go" agreement, which greatly reduces risk to the larger community. Residents and Trustees discussed the importance of stopping the Mall's downward trend for many reasons – including the rapidly declining property tax and sales tax revenues that are needed to support taxing bodies and the community services that they provide. (While the Village collects no property tax, we do rely on sales tax to fund the bulk of Village-provided services, including police protection and snow removal.) All in attendance encouraged residents to ask questions and learn the facts. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Hawthorn Mall Public Hearing: Residents are reminded of the Public Hearing planned for Tuesday, October 6 beginning at 6 p.m. at Village Hall, immediately prior to the next Board Meeting. The agenda will include a presentation by representatives from Kane, McKenna and Associates, Inc., the consultant who prepared the Hawthorn Mall Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Plan and Project Report. Residents will have the opportunity to provide public comment during this forum.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

VHPD Moves Forward with Body-Worn Cameras: Police Chief Patrick Kreis continued discussion of a recent free trial of ten body-worn cameras. Because the vendor already provides cameras for patrol vehicles as well behind the scenes infrastructure for archiving, sorting and sharing the data (to the courts system, etc.), VHPD was able to negotiate the opportunity to add body-worn cameras for patrol and in-field personnel for a total additional cost of $10,600. VHPD was further able to secure a grant, reducing the cost to the Village to $5,300. Chief Kreis noted that Commander James Levicki has been instrumental in creating policies and procedures, providing training, negotiating contracts, and creating the behind-the-scenes infrastructure and personnel pool to manage and administer this new tool. Body-worn cams are expected to be fully deployed within 60 days. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Emergency Operations Plan: Assistant Village Manager Jon Petrillo briefed Trustees on the Village's Emergency Operations Plan, which has been refined over the course of the Pandemic. Key to the plan is coordination among all departments and community partners, including Police, Public Works, Countryside Fire Protection District, Lincolnshire Riverwoods Fire Protection District, Park District and other community stakeholders. Plans and procedures that have worked well during COVID-19 will serve the community well should other emergencies arise. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Request for Federal Funds: Finance Director Anne Fairbairn reported that the Village has applied for reimbursement for emergency expenses through a Federal program being administered by Lake County. So far $39,020 in expenses have been filed – primarily for expenses related to providing PPE, cleaning products and other Pandemic-related health/safety needs for Village Hall, Public Works and the Police Department. Additional expenses will be turned in for reimbursement in mid-October.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Village Hall Tennis Courts/Tot Lot: The Village has been in discussion with the Vernon Hills Park District to work together to improve the tennis courts located immediately southwest of Village Hall. In response to community requests, the goal is to rebuild three tennis courts and add a tot play lot in place of the fourth court. While the project has been moved to next year, as currently envisioned the Village and the Park District will split the cost for rebuilding the three courts and the fence, while the Park District will take control of the property on a 50 year lease. Trustees expressed support for moving forward with creating an intergovernmental agreement to guide the effort. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Public Comment Ordinance Updated: With guidance from Village Attorney Jim Ferolo, Trustees approved an updated Public Comment Ordinance, similar to those of other municipalities. The verbiage formalizes current practices, which aim to encourage respectful input. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Orchard Evangelical Free Church: During the September 15 Committee of the Whole meeting, representatives from Orchard Evangelical Free Church provided initial concepts for repurposing 870 West End Court into a church, with worship seating for 230 people. The church currently has six other permanent facilities, as well as worship services meeting at the DoubleTree in Mundelein. Trustees were supportive of the concept, which now moves to technical review, followed by Planning & Zoning and Public Hearing, before returning to the Village Board for any approvals. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/15/20)

Community Announcements: Residents are reminded of the Village's Community Voice webpages, which provide a place to announce events and activities. Please submit your items to Social@vhills.org.

Shuttle Bus Applications Due by October 5: Local organizations are reminded that with changes to the Vernon Hills Senior Transportation Program, the Village is looking to repurpose a 2016 Ford E350 bus, which is currently equipped to transport 8 people and one wheelchair. For more information about the vehicle, please view the Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 9/1/20, review the September 9, 2020 Village Voice newsletter, or call Public Works Fleet Crew Leader Scott Churchill at 847-680-2276. Interested organizations are asked to contact Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer at MFleischhauer@vhills.org by October 5, 2020 with a letter of interest outlining how the organization and/or stakeholders would benefit from use of the bus.


Vernon Hills Park District Presents...

Trunk or Treat
Saturday, October 31 • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Family Aquatic Center (FAC) Parking Lot

The Vernon Hills Park District is offering a new way to Trick or Treat with "Trunk or Treat." Drive through the lot in your costumes in this alternative trick or treat event. Local businesses will hand out candy as you drive through without needing to exit your car. Feel free to decorate your vehicle as well! We will also be taking donations for the Vernon Township Food Pantry. Masks will be worn by all staff and local businesses. More info will be posted at vhparkdistrict.org.  (You and your kids may also want to learn more about the Park District's Dragon Egg Hunt on October 10.)

 
Still Waiting for Additional Guidance
 
The Village has learned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will, at some point, publish information and guidelines that will allow for safe Trick or Treat activities. We will continue to monitor public health organizations for new guidance. As we receive information, we will keep you informed through the Village website (vernonhills.org), this Village Voice eNewsletter, and social media. Until then, please visit the CDC Halloween Health and Safety Tips webpage. 
 
In anticipation of colder weather, local organizations including the Village, Park District and GLMV Chamber of Commerce are collecting new and gently used coats and warm weather gear in support of the Midwest Veterans Closet. Look for the sign. Thank you for your generosity.
Learn how to prepare at Ready.gov
Saturdays from noon to 5p
Sundays from 11a to 4p
Macy's north parking lot

Photo from www.facebook.com/vhparkdistrict


#BeautifulVernonHills

"Service to others
is the rent you pay
for your room here on earth."


– Mohammad Ali


Thanks for reading
The Village Voice


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