The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
March 9, 2018 – Issue #17
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Spring Forward
  • Skunk Abatement
  • Roadwork: Lindon/Midway
  • Budget Progress
  • Pet Clinic
  • Honors: Horsch, Siembal, Feger
  • Countryside Survey
  • Early Voting & Info
  • New Biz
  • VH Update Show
  • Calendar
  • Hawthorn Meetings
  • Cook Library
  • March for Our Lives

Village Voice eNews

The Village Voice eNewsletter is provided as a service of the Village of Vernon Hills. This eNewsletter is distributed approximately twice each month. You may manage your subscription at the bottom of the page. Please direct your comments to

Keep In Touch

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 11.
Move your clocks ahead one hour – Spring Forward!

Change your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks!

They're back...

Skunk Abatement Reimbursements Re-Activated

Due to increased sightings (and smellings) of skunks in our neighborhoods, the Village Skunk Removal and Assistance program is being reactivated, retroactive to March 1. The program will operate just as it did in the fall – residents who are concerned about skunk activity on their property contract directly with a licensed wildlife specialist, following those recommendations and protocols. (Initial fees generally run $175 to $200.) Any skunks trapped through that process will qualify for reimbursement for up to $75 of the "pick up" fee, so long as residents complete the Reimbursement Request and provide appropriate documentation, receipts and proof. "This has been money well spent," noted Trustee Thom Koch during the Board's March 6 meeting, which approved the return of the program. More info is on the Skunk webpage(Board Meeting 3-6-18)

Road Rehab to Start May 1:
Lindon & Midway Lanes

During the March 6 Board Meeting, Trustees approved this year's Village Road Rehab Project. (Board Meeting 3-6-18) This year's efforts will focus on Midway and Lindon Lanes in the Deerpath subdivision. Work is expected to begin May 1 and run through the end of June.

Lindon and Midway Lanes are the Village's only concrete streets, and after researching options, it was determined that the most appropriate action will be to grind down and resurface these streets. David Brown, Village Public Works Director/Engineer, also noted that bids came in under budget, with Peter Baker & Son submitting the lowest qualifying bid.

Residents in this neighborhood will not be allowed to park on their streets during the bulk of this project, which begins with contractors milling the concrete surface, saw cutting, and patching the pavement and joints as needed. This will be followed by the placement of a leveling bituminous asphalt binder course and the final surface. A cross sections detail of the project is included above to help visualize the improvement approach.

Neighbors will begin receiving direct communication from the Vernon Hills Public Works Department, and once the project begins, communications will be published on the Village website. Please expect delays through this neighborhood – and thank you for your patience and cooperation. Please direct questions to Carissa Hansen at the Public Works Department, 847-367-3726 or
View the Proposed 2018-19 Village Budget, as well as the Proposed Budget Overview and Proposed Budget presentation from March 6.

Budget Discussions Underway

Draft Budget: The Village of Vernon Hills Proposed Budget for 2018-19 is available online – view the draft here. The Total Proposed Budget includes $31,365,970 in expenditures, $28,340,892 in revenues, and one-time use of reserves to spend on capital projects in the amount of $3.1 million. The Proposed Budget is in compliance with the Balanced Budget Ordinance requirements and the Village's reserve (fund balance) policy.

Formal Budget Discussions Underway: During the March 6 Board Meeting, Trustees began formal discussion of the 2018-19 Village of Vernon Hills Budget. Over the past several months, Trustees have been reacting to initial plans. During the March 6 Board Meeting, Trustees began discussing the budget section-by-section. (Board Meeting 3-6-18)

Meeting/Public Hearing Schedule: The Budget process will continue with a special Board Meeting on Tuesday, March 13, followed by a regular Board Meeting on Wednesday, March 21 when those reviews and discussions will continue. (Note that the March 21 meeting is planned for a Wednesday, due to the Election being held that Tuesday.) A public hearing on the budget will then be scheduled for April 3, with final adoption of the budget expected on April 17. (Meetings are held at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive, beginning at 7 p.m.)

State Budget Issues Continue to Impact Municipalities: Village Manager John Kalmar introduced the budget discussion by addressing the uncertainty created by ongoing budgeting issues at the State level. For instance, in an effort to help balance the State budget, legislators in Springfield have voted to hold on to more of the State Income Tax by reducing the amount of Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) revenue coming back to municipalities. For Vernon Hills, that reduction alone is estimated to equate to $570,000 less revenue. 

Village Health Currently Tied to Retail: The Village of Vernon Hills collects no property tax. Therefore, because approximately half of the revenue used to fund the Village of Vernon Hills comes from sales tax gathered within the Village, retail trends are particularly important. Staff continues to monitor the changing retail landscape, which has included a number of store closings within the Village, including Sports Authority, Gordmans, Charming Charlie's and HH Gregg. While other bigger box retailers have also announced cut backs, other major retailers have so far remained unscathed. That said, the retail landscape continues to change as more people move to online purchasing. On the positive side, the addition of recently opened Menards is expected to bring in additional revenue for the Village. By this fall, the Mellody Farm development should be largely operational, with retailers including REI, Homegoods, Nordstrom Rack, Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble contributing to sales tax revenue.

Other Revenue Options: Village staff and elected officials continue to look for savings to offset revenue losses. In an effort to look at new revenues, the Village is considering implementation of a food and beverage tax and packaged liquor tax (proposed at 1%), or expansion of the amusement tax (which currently collects only from movie theaters). Discussions will continue.

Specific Projects Outlined: The March 6 meeting included review of various Police-related budgets. Proposed expenditures include in-car cameras for Police vehicles, new 911 equipment (capable of receiving texts, which is the next phase of 911 service), purchase of a compact portable truck scale, and investment in a computerized eTicket system (to replace the current multi-step paper-based system). Other planned expenses include demolition of the Laschen Center, roof repair at the Public Works facility, road repairs for Lindon/Midway Lanes, and support for special events, such as Summer Celebration. (Scoop on Summer Cel: Planners are working on a 5K event for Wednesday evening, and hint that the big Saturday act may be a country performer.) 

Questions on the budget? Please contact Village Manager John Kalmar ( or Finance Director Nikki Larson ( Residents are encouraged to review the budget draft, attend meetings, and view proceedings on the Village's YouTube channel. Agendas and minutes are posted on the Agenda Center webpage.

Pet Clinic!
Saturday, April 28 at Public Works

The Lake County Health Department's Animal Care and Control team has again partnered with the VHPD and Public Works to present a Pet Vaccination and Microchip Clinic on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at Public Works, 490 Greenleaf Drive. This low-cost clinic is available to anyone (no residency verification is required). Techs will be on hand to provide annual vaccines (rabies, distemper), including Lake County tags, for as low as $20 for spayed/neutered pets. Microchips, which are used to identify pets if they become separated from their owners, will be available for $15. Cash, only. More information is available by calling Animal Care & Control at 847-377-4700 or visiting the Pet Vaccination/Microchip Clinic webpage.
Long-time Public Works employee James Horsch receives a commemorative plaque from Village Board Pro Tempore Thom Koch while Public Works Director David Brown looks on. Jim is retiring after 24 years with the Village.

Honors and Recognition

The Village is fortunate to work with so many long-time employees and volunteers who dedicate their energy for the good of the community. Please join in honoring the following:
  • James Horsch: Jim came to the Public Works Department in 1994. His primary task was that of mechanic to the Village fleet, which includes everything from police cruisers to snow moving equipment. Jim designed and built the bulk of the displays for the Holiday Light Show, which was hosted for several years at the Cuneo Mansion. His "fingerprints" are literally all over town. Thank you and congratulations in your retirement. (Board Meeting 3-6-18)
  • Phil Siembal: Phil Siembal has been Volunteer Extraordinaire in Vernon Hills, Mundelein and beyond. He has always been ready to help at events including Summer Celebration, Oktoberfest, Ribfest and anywhere else. Phil worked these events expecting nothing in return other than being able to share his knowledge, interact with attendees, and be a part of the greater community. Thank you, Phil. (Board Meeting 3-6-18)
  • Commander Ward Feger: During a February 26 ceremony, Sgt. Ward Feger was promoted to the rank of Commander. Commander Feger has been part of the VHPD for 26 years, during which time he has become well respected throughout the community – including in our schools where he has served as both the Hawthorn District 73 School Resource Officer and DARE Officer. Congratulations, Commander Feger.


Countryside Fire Strat Plan

The Countryside Fire Protection District is currently working on their 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. Please consider offering your input by checking their Facebook page and taking their short survey. Thank you!

March 20 Election Resources

  • A General Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20. 
  • Early Voting is available until March 19 at selected sites. Registered voters may vote at any of the early voting sites. Please note that the Vernon Township early voting site has moved across the way to William E. Peterson Park, 16652 N Buffalo Grove Road – voting there is available until March 17, Monday through Friday from 9a to 5p, Saturday from 9a to 2p.
  • In Illinois, voters must register prior to voting. "Grace Registration" is available for the 27 days before an election at the County Clerk's office during regular business hours and for the 15 days before an election at early voting sites.
  • On Election Day (March 20), voters must appear at their assigned polling place, generally in their neighborhood. You will request either a Democrat or Republican ballot. Your selection does not mean you are a member of that party, only that you are selecting to choose among those candidates. Check your March 20 poll location as well as your ballot options through the personalized Voter Power website.
  • REMINDER: The Laschen Center is closed. The polling place previously located in the Laschen Center has moved to the lower level of Village Hall, which is immediately adjacent to the Center. 
  • For more information about the election, including candidate lists, ballot samples, polling locations and more – visit the Lake County Clerk's election webpages as well as the Illinois State Board of Elections website.



Residents are encouraged to shop in town whenever we can. Local sales tax supports the bulk of Village-provided services such as police protection and plowing – the Village of Vernon Hills collects no property tax. With that in mind, here is a list of recent business permits:

Vernon Hills Update Cable/Web Show

March 2018 topics include a look at the Aspen Drive Library expansion project, Cook Library programs and services, Vernon Hills Park District camps and opportunities, and the Skate Room located in Hawthorn Mall. Countryside Fire also encourages us to keep our neighborhood fire hydrants clear and accessible all year long. See all of the shows on the Vernon Hills Update YouTube channel.
Mark Your Calendar...

Scouting for Food Flier Delivery – Sat., March 10 throughout the Village. Scouts will return on March 17 to pick up any nonperishable donations for local pantries. 

Lake County Restaurant Week – through Sunday, March 11 at more than 60 participating Lake County eateries. Lake County Restaurant Week

Daylight Savings Time Begins – Sunday morning, March 11 – "Spring forward" one hour on your clocks.

Hawthorn D73 Art Show Opening Reception – Thursday, March 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Drive. Hosted by Aspen Drive/Cook Memorial Library. Student art will remain on display through April 7.  Art Show

Scouting for Food Collection – Sat., March 17. Beginning at 9 a.m., Scouts will move through the neighborhoods collecting any nonperishable items you have set out. Items go to local emergency food pantries.

2018 General Primary Election – Tues., March 20. Some voting sites have changed – for instance, Laschen Center polling place moves to Vernon Hills Village Hall. More information about registering, early voting, voting by mail, ballot items through Lake County IL Clerk's Election webpage 

First VHPD Citizen's Police Academy Class – Wed., March 21 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.; runs for 10 weeks.  VHPD Citizen's Police Academy

Vernon Hills March for Our Lives – Sat., March 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Hawthorn Middle South through Deerpath neighborhood. VH March Go Fund Me & VH March Facebook page

Park District Hoppin' Holiday Hunt – Sat., March 24 at 9 a.m. at Sullivan Center.  Park District events

Boy Scout Troop 273 Pancake Breakfast/Fundraiser – Sat., April 14 from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Hawthorn Middle South, 600 Aspen Drive.  

Park District 20% Discount Day on Lakeview Membership – Sun., April 15 only. Park District events

Park District Earth Day Family Event – Fri., April 20 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Maintenance Facility at 1400 Indianwood Drive. FREE crafts, games, music. Park District events

Park District Loop the Lakes 5K Run/Walk – Sat., April 21 at 9 a.m. at Century Park. Park District events

Park District Family Kit Fly – Sat., April 21 at 11 a.m. at Century Park. Park District events

VHPD/Lake County Pet Mircochip/Vaccination Clinic – Sat., April 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at Public Works, 490 Greenleaf Drive. VHPD webpage

Park District Pitch, Hit & Run Skills Competition – Sat., April 28 at 1 p.m. at Grosse Pointe Park. Park District events

Park District Arbor Walk – Fri., May 4 from noon to 1 p.m. through newly certified Century Park Arboretum. Park District Events

Park District GO Vernon Hills Kick Off Walk – Wed., May 23 at 6 p.m. at Deerpath Park.  Park District Events

Park District Mighty Kids Triathalon – Sun., June 3 at 8 a.m. at Lakeview Fitness Center.  Park District Events

Park District Kids Fishing Day – Sat., June 9 at 9 a.m. at Century Park.  Park District Events


Hawthorn District 73
Community Engagement Meetings

Hawthorn District 73 invites the community to a series of engagement meetings to provide input on how to resolve space constraints. Meetings will include presentations by the Board of Education and opportunities to provide feedback. Meetings are set for 7 p.m. on these days:
  • Thursday, April 5, Elementary North, 301 Hawthorn Parkway, Vernon Hills
  • Tuesday, April 17, Elementary South, 430 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills
  • Monday, April 30, Middle School North, 201 Hawthorn Parkway, Vernon Hills
  • Thursday, May 10, Aspen Elementary, 500 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills
  • Monday, May 21, Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills
  • Wednesday, May 30, Townline Elementary, 810 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills

Cook Library Round-Up

For more information about Cook Memorial Library as well as events at either Cook Park (Libertyville) or the Aspen Drive Library (Vernon Hills), please visit

Cook Library’s 12th Annual Creative Writing Contest 
(grades 4-8)
Wed., February 26 – Wed., April 4
Cook Library’s 2018 Student Art Show Receptions
Art remains on display for several weeks after reception
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 8: Libertyville D70 @Cook Park
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 15: Hawthorn D73 @Aspen Drive
1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14: Home School @Cook Park
One-Hour Free AARP Tax Prep Assistance
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursdays (until April 12)
At Sullivan Center; By Appointment only 
Register online  – click on dates to find openings
Jazz Concert: Swing Spring 
with Petra van Nuis and Andy Brown
6:30 p.m., Monday, March 12 @Aspen Drive
Register online  
Spring Break Movie! Ferdinand
Wed., March 28
10 a.m. @Aspen Drive  •  2 p.m. @Cook Park
Registration opens March 14


Community Action...

Vernon Hills March for Our Lives

On March 24, students and families will be marching in Washington DC and across the nation with a message to end gun violence, particularly as it relates to school shootings (see  In Vernon Hills, volunteers are organizing Vernon Hills March for Our Lives, which is scheduled to gather near Hawthorn Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, beginning at approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 24. Participants will listen to speakers, then march through the Deerpath neighborhood. Parking will be somewhat limited – please watch for signs and consider walking or carpooling. For information or to support this effort, please visit the Vernon Hills March for Our Lives GoFundMe page, or check the VH event Facebook page.

Thank you all for reading. Suggestions? Questions? 
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