The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
Nov. 22, 2019
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Tree & Menorah Lighting
  • Senior Taxi Program
  • Garbage Contract
  • Recycle Right
  • Village Board Meetings
  • 2020 Meeting Schedule
  • Adjudication Program
  • Gregg's Intersection
  • Skate Park Support
  • Snow Season
  • Center Court Cafe
  • Thank You, Grace
  • Give Toys, Coats, Phones
  • Legion Bingo
  • Stand Strong tip411
  • Library Open House
  • Calendar
  • 211 Lake County Help
  • Happy Thanksgiving

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

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It's Almost Here!

Village Tree & Menorah Lighting

  • Saturday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive
Kick off the holiday with the Village Tree and Menorah Lighting! Enjoy free refreshments and await the arrival of Santa Claus on the Countryside fire engine. Then head outside with our Village Queens and Mayor Roger Byrne to light up the night. Thank you to our Cultural Partners for sponsoring this free event.

Village Launches Subsidized Rides 

  • Ride Cards Cover $4 Toward Each Cab Ride

  • For Residents Age 62 and Over

  • For Residents Age 18 and Over with Disability

The Village of Vernon Hills has launched a new Senior Taxi Program, designed to support Village residents who are 62 years or older, as well as residents age 18 and over who are disabled, by providing an affordable transportation option.

The Senior Taxi Program uses an electronic swipe card (ESC), that looks and works like a debit card. Riders swipe their ride card with participating cab drivers to offset the metered fare for up to $4 per ride. At the beginning of each month, 16 ride subsidies are automatically loaded to participant's cards. (Ride subsidies will not roll-over from month to month.) 

How to Use the Senior Taxi Electronic Swipe Card Program

  • Schedule your ride with our two local participating cab companies – either American Taxi (847-673-1000) or 303 Taxi (847-303-0303).
  • Swipe your ride card at the end of your taxi ride before you provide any additional forms of payment. Your card works the same way as a credit card.
  • After the transaction is approved, a $4 ride credit is deducted from your card. You may not swipe the card more than once per taxi ride.
  • If your metered fare is more than $4, you are responsible for the remaining amount, as well as any tips you wish to include. The ride card may not be used as a tip. Taxi companies will only be reimbursed for the metered fare.
  • If an ESC is lost or stolen, please notify the Village of Vernon Hills immediately. The first swipe card is provided at no cost; replacement cards cost $5 per card. Use of the card by someone other than the approved resident will result in revocation of the card and suspension from the program.

How to Apply for a Ride Swipe Card
  • Cards are available to Vernon Hills residents age 62 and over, as well as residents age 18 and over with a disability.
  • Eligible residents should complete the Taxi Program Application, which can be downloaded here or from the Village website. You may also pick up the application from the front desk at Village Hall.
  • As outlined on the application, residents need to provide proof of residency, proof of age, and proof of disability – recent utility bills, drivers license, voter registration card, etc.
  • Direct questions to Lisa Fischbach at or 847-918-3562.

Senior Shuttle Status

The Senior Shuttle, which has served the community for many years, remains in place for medical visits in the area. Senior riders may continue to call Village Hall (847-367-3700) to schedule. The Shuttle will be available through April 30, 2020.

Why the New Program?

As discussed at several Village Board Meetings and reported in this eNewsletter, ridership on our Senior Shuttle has grown and changed over the years, making it difficult for the Village to effectively and appropriately provide timely service to all those requesting rides. With the retirement of a driver, the Village explored ways to better serve our Seniors and those with disabilities. Staff discovered that many municipalities and townships have moved to this type of subsidized taxi service. By tapping into our local cab companies, riders can draw on tremendous capacity, flexibility and service – riders are no longer constrained by service areas, schedules or availability of a seat on the shuttle. The service is also expected to offer significant savings to the Village – cab companies are only reimbursed for rides actually used, and the Village no longer serves as dispatcher and scheduler.

For More Information

To learn more, check out the Senior Taxi Program webpage, which includes the Senior Taxi Program Application. You may also contact Lisa Fischbach at or 847-918-3562.

American Taxi Logo

303 Taxi Logo Opens in new window

Update: Waste Matters and the Vernon Hills Residential Hauling Contract

  • Discussion Continues

  • Board Seeks Community Input

During the November 19 Village Board meeting (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19), Trustees received an update from staff on the status of a probable acquisition of the Village’s current provider of waste services (Advanced Disposal Services) by Waste Management, Inc. The Board was briefed on the first proposal from Advanced Disposal for an extension of the current Village-wide contract for residential waste removal. Under this first proposal, Advanced would hold costs at the current rate for two years, with costs being absorbed by transitioning to a concept known as Every Other Week Recycling (EOW) collection. The extension offer would also add seasonal collection of food waste scraps (added to residential units using yard waste collection service), as well as options for free local drop off of electronics and medical sharps. Staff noted that the Village's current rate (which is the rate outlined in this first proposal) is currently among the lowest out the 17 nearby communities surveyed. The Board has requested additional information and pricing options as well as community input.

Background on Contract: The Village's residential contract with Advanced Disposal runs through November 30, 2020. Adding some urgency is the fact that waste competitor Waste Management, Inc. has been working to acquire Advanced. That industry shrinkage combined with changes in recycling (see below) prompted personnel at the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) to advise communities such as Vernon Hills who are under contract with Advanced to begin to evaluate their options, and to be aware that it is anticipated that Advanced Disposal will be acquired by Waste Management during the first quarter of 2020. For Vernon Hills, if an extension for services cannot be achieved before the acquisition, Village staff would need to begin negotiating with Waste Management and/or begin a process to solicit future waste disposal services through a formal Request for Proposal process (known as an RFP), which would include a probable increase in service costs.  

Recycling Industry Changes: Perhaps most noteworthy is a shift in the industry that is challenging traditional concepts of recycling. China accepts only the cleanest materials to recycle (0.5 percent contamination), while most communities such as Vernon Hills run at a 20 percent contamination rate. In days past, waste haulers would receive compensation for recycled materials. Today, they must pay to get rid of them. Advanced Disposal representatives noted that they used to make $10 per ton of recycled materials. Last year at this time they had to begin paying $20 per ton to get rid of materials. Today, they pay approximately $70 per ton. As waste services are part of a market, no matter who the Village selects for a waste services hauler, increased costs for recycling will be shared.

Options for Continuing Recycling: One of the proposals from Advanced presented during their November 19 update to the Board features the concept of moving recycling collection to every other week, something that has been successfully implemented in other communities such as Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, as well as our own Carriage Homes of Grosse Pointe (under a home owners association agreement). In addition to reducing costs (for both hauler and ultimately residents), going to an every-other-week schedule helps air quality and our roads by reducing the number of large trucks moving through our community. (SWALCO estimates that one garbage truck has the same impact on roads as 9600 cars.) Advanced has offered to make larger recycling carts available to residents at no additional charge. In addition, Advanced noted that they have always collected recycling on an unlimited basis – if additional items are put out in a second (or third) container, they take those items. Representatives also explained that many items residents are trying to recycle are actually not accepted by the processing centers, regardless of the recycling mark. (For instance, Solo cups and many food packages are not recyclable. Plastic bags are not recyclable, even if filled with aluminum cans – all contents gets tossed into the trash because of the bag.) By getting back to the basics of recycling, proponents of smart recycling report residents will have more room in their carts.

Questions to be Answered: Trustees discussed possible concerns with moving to an every-other-week recycling option, including concern that residents might not be able to fit a larger recycling cart into their garage. The Board asked Advanced and staff to provide a la carte costs for scrap food collection, electronics recycling and sharps collection. Trustees also requested a price for maintaining services as is (with weekly recycling pick up). More information will be provided at upcoming Board Meetings and through Village communications resources, including this eNewsletter, as we continue through this process.

Your Input is Important: Trustees and staff are seeking your input.  What is important to you? What services do you desire?  Please let us know at Thank you.

Recycle Right!

The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County provides a variety of resources about reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing and refusing materials to support a healthier environment. Learn more at Check out the Vernon Hills Neighborhood Guide, with information specific to our community.


Meeting Schedule:


Tues., December 10*
Tues., January 7
Tuesday, January 21
Tuesday, February 4 

  • *There is only one meeting scheduled for December.
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage. 
  • Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive at Route 45 unless otherwise noted. 
  • Residents are encouraged to attend meetings, as well as view them on the Village YouTube Channel and on Cable Access. Agendas and minutes are posted online. 
  • Agendas are generally posted online by the Monday prior to each meeting. 

Items of Interest...

2020 Meeting Schedule: Village Board meetings for 2020 are planned for January 7, January 21, February 4, February 18, March 3, March 17 (this date may shift), April 7, April 21, May 5, May 19, June 2, June 16, July 7, July 21, August 11, September 1, September 15, October 6, October 20, November 3, November 17, December 8.  

New Administrative Adjudication Program: The Village's new Administrative Adjudication Program continues to move forward. The new process allows minor citations to be addressed and contested in a more convenient (and cost effective) manner through a monthly adjudication hearing at Village Hall. Hearing Officer Henry Tonigan III, a retired judge, will serve as hearing officer – a role he performs for many other local communities who use the same type of adjudication system. The new system is expected to offer convenience for both those contesting citations as well as law enforcement – not only will hearings take place locally in the evenings, but those cited as well as officers may choose not to attend and instead provide their testimony in written form. Local hearings should also save money for those involved as going through the Lake County Court System generally incurs court costs of upwards of $250 before fines. The new adjudication program is expected to have a trial run in December, then be available for minor citations beginning in January. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19)

Gregg's/Huntington Intersection Study: Public Works Director David Brown updated the Board on results of a recent Civiltech Engineering study of the Gregg's Parkway/Huntington Drive intersection. Survey results show that traffic volumes have not varied substantially from counts done in 2014 and 2017. While an all-way stop control is not warranted by the traffic volume, a traffic signal is warranted – however installations of traffic signals in the residential area have not been supported in the past by the HOA. Furthermore, in looking at the nature of the accidents (pedestrians, bikes and cars), a traffic signal would not address concerns, which seem to stem from the inability of drivers exiting Huntington Drive to see cars in westbound Gregg's Parkway due to sightlines being obstructed by vehicles in the right turn lane. Based on the incident evidence and discussion with Lake County Department of Transportation (with whom concurrence is required for Gregg's Parkway and Huntington Drive modifications), Director Brown requested that the right turn lane be temporarily removed via installation of delineators and the intersection studied for a six-month period to review the impacts on safety and traffic. Director Brown noted that the Village and Gregg's Landing North HOA have worked cooperatively to improve sightlines along Gregg's Parkway by removing or pruning vegetation. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19)

Park District Loan Payment Waived for Skate Park: During the November 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, Trustees discussed the request by the Park District to support the relocation and improvement of the Park District's skate park. The skate park must be moved due to the addition of the Hawthorn District 73 School for Young Learners, which connects to the Park District Sullivan Center. New traffic patterns for students and parents create safety issues with the current skate park location, which is near the back of the existing parking lot. The Park District expects to invest approximately $280,000 into the new skate park, and has asked the Village and Hawthorn District 73 to share that cost. The option presented was to waive the Park District's first installment on a ten-year repayment plan to the Village for the loan received to purchase the former YMCA building (now the Lakeview Fitness Center). The Board agreed to waive the 2019 payment totaling $84,000, therefore supporting construction of the new skate park. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19)

Snow Season: During the November 19 Board Meeting, Public Works Director David Brown noted that we have already set records with early snow events. He reports that salt bins are full and crews are ready. Trustees authorized a contract with James Martin and Associates for snow and ice control for cul de sacs and the Metra station. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19)

Refreshments at Center Court: Representatives from Hawthorn Mall and 60 & 21 Cafe and Wine Bar appeared before the Board to request approval for their new cafe, which will be located at center court in Hawthorn Mall. Shoppers will be able to enjoy a selection of food and wine while relaxing in the 320 square foot area, which will feature tables and lounge seating. The Cafe is expected to open by Black Friday. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 11/19/19)

The Board presented a proclamation to Grace Mikell in gratitude for her efforts as Vernon Hills Senior Organization President. After a bit of time away, she will be moving into the organization's Vice President spot, serving beside President David Beckman and Treasurer Efron Catella. Thank you, Grace.


'Tis the Season of Giving


Toys for Tots – Unwrapped Toys by December 9 

Coats for Vets – For Midwest Veteran's Closet

Cell Phones for Soldiers – Recycle and Support
Nonperishables – For Township Pantries

TOYS FOR TOTS: From now until December 9, the Vernon Hills Police Department will collect new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. (

COATS FOR VETS: Accepting new or gently used coats (boots, hats, gloves as well as other items), which will be distributed to veterans and their families through the Midwest Veteran's Closet. (

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS: Donate your old cell phones, iPads, MP3 players and other electronics, which will be safely recycled – while earning telephone calling cards for deployed soldiers, allowing them to connected with their loved ones back home. This collection goes all year round. (

TOWNSHIP PANTRIES: Contribute nonperishable food, paper goods and hygiene items, which will be distributed through the Vernon Township and Libertyville Township Emergency Pantries. This collection takes place all year round. ( and



  • Vernon Hills Police Department, 740 Lakeview Parkway – Open every day/all day
  • Vernon Hills Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive – Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Vernon Hills Public Works, 490 Greenleaf Drive – Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


American Legion Post 1247



December 5 @ 6:30p

(First Thursday Nights All Winter)

At Vernon Hills Golf Course,
291 Evergreen Drive
Refreshments/food available
for purchase

Have fun! Try your luck! Support our Vets!


Sheriff & Stand Strong Coalition Collaborate to Reduce Underage Drinking

  • Report a Tip to tip411

  • Blackout Wednesday

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Stand Strong Coalition have launched an initiative to assist in curbing of parties where underage drinking and drug use is taking place. Stand Strong Coalition purchased a four-year membership to tip411, through which members of the community can send anonymous messages about situations with underage drinking or drug use. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is taking the lead in monitoring any submitted tips.

When the incident is occurring in the jurisdiction of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Deputies will be dispatched to investigate. When the incident is occurring within municipal boundaries, Lake County Sheriff’s Telecommunicators will pass the information along to the proper dispatch center, so the proper local police department can take appropriate action.

Providing alcohol or drugs to underage people is illegal and dangerous. Additionally, parents can be held criminally and civilly liable for allowing their property (or a hotel room, rented limo, bus, boat, or vehicle) to be used for underage consumption of alcohol.

It is hoped this initiative will discourage parents from allowing underage drinking and drug use to take place, while reducing the number of youth partaking in these behaviors. Stand Strong Coalition and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office want youth to enjoy themselves without becoming a victim of the consequences associated with alcohol/drug abuse.

Stand Strong Coalition Executive Director Jamie Epstein said, “As a parent in the community and the Executive Director of Stand Strong Coalition, parents and students tell me all of the time that they know where underage drinking is occurring, and they worry for the youth involved. However, they have not found a way to share their tips with police in a way that feels comfortable to them. We are pleased to partner with the Lake County Sheriff's Office to offer parents and youth this tool to do the right thing when they know of illegal and unsafe activity. Tip411 will help keep our communities safer for teens and I thank the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for collaborating to make this all possible.”

Sheriff John Idleburg said, “Alcohol and drug use impair one’s ability to make decisions. This is true in adults, but especially true in adolescents and young adults. Statistics show us that underage drinking and drug use leads to higher rates of sexual assault, a higher likelihood of being involved in a fatal or serious traffic crash, as well as other negative consequences. We hope this new partnership with Stand Strong Coalition assists us in getting involved before a tragedy occurs.”

How to Send an Anonymous Report:

  • Send a text message to 847-41
  • Start the body of your message with 123TIP
  • Then write your information

For more information and other resources, visit Stand Strong Coalition –



Be Aware: Blackout Wednesday

Did you know that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has been nicknamed "Blackout Wednesday" due to the recent tradition of partying and drinking? In the Chicagoland area, experts say the day has become even more excessive than New Year's Eve. If you or yours take part, be aware, be safe, and plan to use use a designated driver or ride share service.

Aspen Drive Library Open House

Saturday, November 23
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Check it out!

More information, including the program schedule and time lapse video of the project, is available on the Aspen Drive Library Expansion webpage.


Cook Memorial Public Library's Grand Reopening of Aspen Drive Library – Saturday, November 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Drive (Library Event)

Village Tree/Menorah Lighting – Saturday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive (Tree/Menorah Lighting)

Legion BINGO – Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive 

Saturday with St. Nick – Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church and PreSchool, 595 Deerpath Drive (Event)

Lions Club 24th Annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa – Sunday, December 8 from 8 a.m. to noon at Libertyville High School Cafeteria, 708 West Park Avenue. $7 per person, 4 years and younger eat free. For information, contact Sara Meline at 847-380-5841.

Breakfast with Santa – Sunday, December 8 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Vernon Hills Golf Course. Call 847-680-9310 for reservations. (Event)

Park District Water Wonderland – December 20 at 6 p.m. at Lakeview Fitness Center (Park District Event)

Park District New Year's Eve Family Party – December 31 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event)

Legion BINGO – Thursday, January 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive 

Park District Winter Fest – January 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Century Park (Park District Event

Lion's Club Village Blood Drive – January 18 at Sullivan Center

Park District Little Learners PreSchool Open House – January 29, 6 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event

Legion BINGO – Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive 

Park District Just the Two of Us Dance – February 7, 6:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event

Park District 7th Annual Craft Beer Tasting – February 29, 5 to 9 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event

Lake County 211
Need help? Looking for info? Consider 211 – Lake County's free one-stop shop for help. 211 is a telephone helpline, a texting chatline, and a website sponsored by Lake County and the United Way. Visit, dial 211, or text your zip code to 898211 for 24/7 help.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you all for reading
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