The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
April 24, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Village Budget
  • Board Actions
  • Face Mask Discussion
  • Hawthorn Payment
  • TIF Registry
  • SmashSMARD
  • Stay Vigilant PSAs
  • Zoom Board Meetings
  • Recycle & Compost
  • Complete Census
  • Virtual VH Update
  • Hawthorn Meals
  • Restaurant Partners
  • 211 Lake County
  • Reach Out for Help

Village Voice eNews

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

Keep In Touch

Update on Governor's Orders
On April 23, Governor Pritzker announced his intention to continue Stay at Home orders until the end of May. He also announced that beginning May 1, face coverings would be required for individuals older than age 2 who are in public and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. In addition, he outlined the possibility of reopening retail shops, state parks, golf courses, greenhouses, garden centers and surgical centers/hospitals for surgeries and procedures under specific parameters, details of which have yet to be provided. Once the final Orders are signed, we will review and determine the best way to support residents and businesses. Remember that a face covering can be as simple as a scarf or bandana tied around your nose and mouth. If you have questions, please call Village Hall at 847-367-3700 or send an email to

Village Budget Approved

On April 21, Trustees approved the 2020-21 Village Budget. While the budget has been put in place for the start of the new fiscal year on May 1, staff and Trustees discussed the importance of taking an even more conservative approach to Village expenditures.

During the Public Hearing portion of the April 21 meeting, those participating in the virtual meeting discussed the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, and raised concerns about how quickly those businesses might rebound once allowed to reopen. Trustees also cautioned that people may not have the ability or interest in making non-essential purchases. From the Village budget perspective, staff and Trustees talked about the importance of preparing for lower revenues due to decreased sales tax, which supports the bulk of Village services. In addition, there is the possibility that the State would keep a larger portion of pass-through revenues to help offset the costs of COVID-19 efforts.

An option for supporting Village-provided services is to tap into the Village's General Fund, with estimates for needed draw downs ranging from $3.5 million to $5 million. Staff has already identified $1.9 million in potential projects to defer or cancel. Further, the Village does not anticipate filling any empty positions until the economy has improved.

Budget documents are available on the Village's Financial Documents webpage. Questions or comments may be directed to Assistant Finance Director Marty Staszel at (
Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/21/20)
A screen capture showing renderings of the BCU landscape design, as discussed during the virtual Village Board and Committee of the Whole Meeting held on April 21.

Village Board Actions

Here is an overview of some of the items discussed at the last Village Board Meeting, held via Zoom conference on April 21. A recording of this Board Meeting (as well as previous meetings) appears on our Village YouTube page – Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/21/20

Budget Hearing: During the Public Hearing regarding the Village Budget, Trustees received three public comments and reviewed additional input from staff and consultants with regard to the importance of maintaining a conservative course. Trustees approved the Budget as provided, with understanding that expenses would be closely monitored and potentially eliminated. Trustees have the option of amending the Budget at any time with a two-thirds agreement. Additional information is outlined in the Budget article earlier in this newsletter. 

Face Mask Use: Trustees and staff have previously discussed the efficacy of a Village face mask requirement. In conjunction with receipt of Public Comment, meeting participants revisited the topic. Trustees expressed the importance of supporting all actions that protect the larger community, and noted enacting such a mandate would support those essential businesses that were currently requiring face coverings. One concern was the strain on the Vernon Hills Police Department, which has already experienced a marked increase in calls reporting perceived social distance violations. Village Attorney Jim Ferolo was directed to review the actions by other municipalities, as well as directives being proposed by the State, to prepare an order for the Vernon Hills Board to consider for implementation. (Subsequently, it was determined that the state-wide order announced on April 23 supersedes any local actions.)

Hawthorn Payment: The Board approved Ordinance 2020-053 authorizing payment of $200,000 to Hawthorn District 73 for construction of a roadway connection to the new School for Young Learners located on Aspen Drive next to the Park District Sullivan Center.

Executive Order Extended: The Village's State of Emergency Order was renewed until the next Board Meeting, planned for May 5.

TIF Registry: The Board approved the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Interested Parties Registry. Previously, each TIF has had a separate registry. This new process will allow taxing bodies and other interested parties to register to automatically receive key announcements related to all TIFs through one central registry point. The actual registry process is now being developed. Once developed, we will communicate the new sign-up procedures – including a new option for interested parties to receive communications electronically to save cost and time.

Lauterbach & Amen: Trustees approved expenditures not to exceed $484,100 for the services of Lauterbach & Amen, LLC for accounting and financial oversight services for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year. The Village began outsourcing finance tasks in 2018, which has resulted in expanded services and reduced expenses, according to Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer. 

SmashSMARD Event: The Board approved a request from Ernie's Towing to conduct a special event on July 9 to support smashSMARD, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing education and research toward the rare disease of SMARD (Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress). Learn more and donate at

Mellody Farm Special Events: Representatives from Mellody Farm presented a schedule for five special events planned for the central plaza. Organizers planned each event with both a rain date as well as a virus-adjusted date with rain date. As currently planned, the schedule includes Spring Fest (5/23), Bark Fest (6/13), Taste of Mellody Farm (7/11), Oktoberfest/Halloween (10/24), and Tree Lighting (12/5). During the Liquor and Licensing Commission Hearing that preceded the April 21 meeting, Commissioners approved a Special Event Class "E" Liquor License for Kuma's Corner to provide beverage service at these events.

BCU Landscaping: The Committee of the Whole approved site and landscape revisions for Baxter Credit Union's property at 300 and 340 Milwaukee Avenue. Landscape Architect Pamela Self reviewed plans designed to improve parking lot and pedestrian safety as well as provide a beautiful outdoor space for BCU employees.

Philharmonic Studios Concepts: The Committee of the Whole reviewed concept plans for a recording studio being planned for an empty parcel at Forest Edge and Bitternut Drives. These initial concept plans now move to technical review before returning to the Board for final approval.

Thank You, Telecommunicators: The Mayor proclaimed April 12 through 18 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and thanked them for their tireless efforts at all times, and especially during this pandemic.

Arbor Day & Earth Day: The Village will celebrate Arbor Day on May 9, and renewed our commitment to maintaining a healthy urban forest. People are encouraged to enjoy our local Forest Preserves and Park District amenities. Trustees pointed out this is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Chili's License: During the Liquor and Licensing Commission Hearing held prior to the April 21 Board Meeting, Commissioners approved a Class "A" Liquor License for Chili's Grill & Bar, requested in light of change of ownership from the franchisee back to Brinker's Restaurant Corporation. 

Stay Vigilant: Trustees and Staff encourage residents to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and our community from COVID-19. Trustees continue to work with all community partners to remind residents to follow appropriate measures to help "flatten the curve." Residents are also encouraged to stay informed about the state-wide extension of the Stay-at-Home Orders with modifications (including the use of face masks) that are expected to be signed by the Governor next week and enacted beginning May 1. Village staff is waiting for specific verbiage so that we may best support our residents and business partners. Visit the state's website for updated information. Also, check out the Village's YouTube PSA list as well as the new Virtual Vernon Hills Update for information and announcements related to our Village.


Virtual Village Meetings

 In light of COVID mandates and in support of community-wide good health, the Village Board has moved to virtual meetings. Meetings are not being held at Village Hall. The Board anticipates continuing with virtual meetings until mandates and best-practices indicate it is appropriate to again gather in person. Information about participating in each meeting appears below.
  • DATE: Village Board will meet virtually on Tuesday, May 5
  • TIME: The Zoom platform will open at approximately 6:45 p.m., with the meeting scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
  • PUBLIC COMMENT: Please provide general Public Comment via email to before 7 p.m. on May 5 for your input to be shared during the Public Comment portion of the Board Meeting. Items received after 7 p.m. will be shared with Trustees after the meeting.
  • WATCH/LISTEN: Residents are encouraged to join via Zoom to listen and watch. The invitation and meeting ID codes will be posted on the Village website prior to the meeting.
  • AGENDA/MINUTES: The May 5 agenda will be posted no later than the Monday before the meeting on the Agenda Center webpage.
  • RECORDINGS: As with all meetings, the Zoom recording will be available on the Village YouTube channel.
  • NEXT MEETINGS: In addition to the May 5 meeting, upcoming meetings are planned for May 19 and June 9. 

Food Scrapping, Yard Waste & Recycling

Vernon Hills has added Residential Food Scrapping to the list of services available through Advanced Disposal. The Food Scrapping program is a ride-along program that pairs with landscape yard waste collection – which began April 1 and runs through November. Include the food scraps with your landscape waste, with service purchased either through individual bag stickers or with a seasonal subscription. Contact Advanced Disposal for Food Scrap, only, options. For information, including what is compostable and how to do it, check the links below:

While Village Hall and the Park District Sullivan Center have restricted access, individual yard waste stickers should also be available at the usual retail outlets, including Walgreens, Mariano's and Home Depot, among other sites. You may also purchase directly through Advanced Disposal by calling 847-623-3870.

Did you know that protective gloves and paper face masks are not recyclable? Please dispose of them properly – please don't leave them lying around in parking lots where others might come in contact. Also, if you have illness within your home, recycling handlers request that you cease from recycling until your household is well.


You Still Have Time to
Complete Your Census

  • Visit
  • Input your mailed code OR your address
  • It takes only a few minutes
  • Deadlines extended due to COVID-19
  • Thank you!


Virtual Vernon Hills Update
The Vernon Hills Update Cable/Web Show has moved to a new format designed to support social distancing while also continuing to provide you with news from around the Village. We'll provide segments that will be available on social media, Cable Access and the Village YouTube Channel


VH Pageant Apps Due May 29
For those interested in the April Vernon Hills Update highlighting the Vernon Hills Pageant, please note that pageant coordinators encourage interested participants to sign up via the online application form by May 29. The Pageant is currently being planned for June 20, though alternate dates and formats are being prepared should the need for continued social distancing require. For information, visit
Hawthorn meal pick ups have changed to Mondays and Wednesdays. Please complete the Hawthorn Form for Meal Service During School Closure Survey to ensure enough meals are available for everyone. Thank you.

Support Restaurant Partners

Many of our local restaurants are offering carry-out, curb-side pick up, and delivery specials during the mandated closures of their dining rooms and bars. As you plan your meals, consider supporting our VERNON HILLS DINING PARTNERS – and all of our local dining establishments. Schedules and availability change, so please check in with each restaurant to see what they are offering.

Visit Lake County ( has posted a list of Lake County restaurants providing curbside pick up and carry out – please call to check on status as services change.

The GLMV Chamber of Commerce provides the following list of local member restaurants open for curbside pick up as of time of publication (click on the link for contact info and to verify what service is available):

While Hawthorn Mall is closed, in addition to The Claim Company and Maggiano's Little Italy being open for take-home/delivery (see above), Chef Yan Can offers carry out/delivery specials – and you can even order online and get curbside delivery from Barbara's Bookstore! 
The Lake County 211 Resource Center has support and information on a variety of topics. Visit, or call or text to 211.

Thanks for reading
The Village Voice

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