The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
December 15, 2017 – Issue #14
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Cops & Kids
  • Tree Pick Up
  • Snow Reminders
  • DUI Caution
  • Tree Trimming
  • House Watch
  • Secure Your Trash
  • Electronic Resources
  • Holiday Schedules
  • 2018 Board Meetings
  • Board Business: ALDI Signs, Parking, Pensions, Laschen...
  • Thanks for Toys
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Happy Holidays

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Let's Start with Some Good News...

Cops & Kids Event Enjoyed by All!

Check out the happy faces at the recent Cops & Kids celebration. On December 2, Vernon Hills and Lincolnshire Police Departments reached out to 52 Vernon Hills children for a special holiday adventure that included lunch and a Walmart shopping trip. Thank you to Walmart Foundation, the Vernon Hills Walmart staff, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hitz Pizza, Lakeside Transportation, Starbucks and the many volunteers who made this event possible. More info is on the Cops & Kids webpage.

Holiday Tree Recycling

Pick Ups: January 2 through 11

Looking ahead... The Village will again make the rounds to pick up live holiday trees, which they will convert into mulch. Please put your tree near the curb and remove all decorations, wires, tree bags, etc.  (Trees in bags will be identified as garbage and picked up by Advanced on garbage day, rather than recycled by the Village.) Assuming no weather issues (which require Public Works employees to move to snow/ice removal efforts) trucks will come through the neighbors per this schedule:
  • North of Route 60 – Tues., Jan. 2 and Mon., Jan. 8
  • Deerpath, Stone Fence, Centennial Crossing, Aspen Pointe – Wed., Jan. 3 and Tues., Jan. 9
  • Plymouth Farms, Westwood, Grosse Pointe/GP Circle, Old Grove Farms, Villas by the Lake – Thurs., Jan. 4 and Wed., Jan. 10
  • Country Club Estates, Hawthorn Club, Sugar Creek, River Grove, Sanctuary Point, Sarah's Glen, Writer Estates, Georgetown Square, Port Clinton Place, The Oaks – Fri., Jan. 5 and Thurs., Jan. 11
Friday, January 12 will be a make-up day in case of bad weather. If you miss your dates, you may bring your tree to Public Works, where it will be added to the mulch pile. Advanced Disposal will also take your tree on your regular garbage day from January 15 to February 15. Direct questions to Public Works at 847-367-3726, or Advanced Disposal at 847-623-3870. View the schedule.

Snow Reminders...

Snow is a part of life for Vernon Hills winters. Trustees and our Public Works plowers remind us of a few snow rules designed to make the winter a little easier and safer for everyone.

  • Do not throw snow from driveways into the streets. Blowing your snow into the street creates hazardous conditions that often remain all winter in the form of icy bumps you have to navigate each day. If you use a contractor, please make sure they keep snow out of the streets, too.
  • There is no parking on Village streets after a 2-inch snowfall. This helps us quickly clear our streets, and also protects your vehicle.
  • Please don't follow the plow trucks too closely. Staying back will protect your vehicle from salt or de-icer they may be applying, and also gives room for these big machines to safely maneuver.
  • Please don't play near or in the street. Please let your children know that they should build their snow forts away from the street. This will protect them from traffic as well as from potentially heavy snow loads that plows might deposit on top of them. When you see (or hear) a plow coming down your street, make sure you stay clear and stay safe.

A DUI Caution for the Holidays

Along with the lights, beauty and joy of the holiday season comes the fun associated with parties and gatherings. For many people, more celebrations also correlate with more alcohol. Unfortunately, no matter how much the word gets out, some people will use poor judgment and make the bad choice to drink and drive.

The Vernon Hills Police Department wants everyone to have a safe holiday. To help accomplish this, the Department’s Crime Prevention Unit has provided some sobering statistics that, if kept in mind, might help keep someone’s holiday from turning into a nightmare. The following information was obtained from the 2017 Illinois Secretary of State DUI Fact Book:  

  • In Illinois, 268 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2015 (the most recent year data is available).
  • The average cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois is $18,030.
  • In 2015, the Illinois Secretary of States office recorded 32,285 DUI arrests.
  • 91% of all drivers arrested for DUI in 2015, who were eligible, lost their driving privileges.

In Illinois, the legal limit for intoxication is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). However, many people don't realize that an individual with a BAC between .05 and .08 may be convicted of DUI if additional evidence shows the driver was impaired.

The effect of alcohol on an individual is determined primarily by two factors: the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which it is absorbed by the body. Other contributing factors include gender, body weight, alcohol tolerance, mood, environment and the amount of food consumed.

The only way to rid the body of alcohol is time. Fresh air, coffee, showers or food will not help a person become sober. It takes about an hour for the body to metabolize one drink. Each of the following has a comparable amount of alcohol and counts as one drink: one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, and one 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor all contain a comparable amount of alcohol. (The amount of alcohol in a poured/mixed drink is dependant on the type of drink and the person who pours it.)

The Vernon Hills Police Department reminds everyone that if a person is going to make the decision to drink alcohol, he/she must also be prepared to make the responsible decision to either stop drinking before becoming intoxicated or not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. While calling or asking someone else for a ride might be inconvenient or embarrassing, it’s better than the alternative.

ComEd Crews to Trim Trees in Southeast Section of Village

ComEd has informed the Village that contractors will trimming and removing vegetation from around electric lines in the southeast section of the Village over the next several months. ComEd has contracted with Davey Resource Group to conduct maintenance around the distribution circuits along Route 45 between Writer Court and Port Clinton Road, on Route 45 on both sides of the Milwaukee Avenue intersection, and on sections of Port Clinton and Indian Creek Roads in that area (see ComEd map shown above). Crews are expected to trim trees, branches and vines that might interfere with the power lines. If trees must be removed, the remaining stumps will be treated with an approved herbicide to prevent regrowth. Neighbors in the impacted areas should have received a postcard from ComEd alerting them to this activity. To learn more, visit or call ComEd at 800-334-7661.  

Home Security While You're Away

Whether for a quick holiday get-away or for a longer snow-bird adventure, the Vernon Hills Police Department encourages residents to take steps to help keep their homes secure while away. Please take a moment to review the simple suggestions outlined on the Vacation Security Tips webpage – installing timers, stopping deliveries, locking/disconnecting your garage door, keeping your driveway shoveled, refraining from social media posts advertising that you are away...  Also consider a Vacation House Watch, provided as a free service by the Vernon Hills Police Department. You'll find more information on the Vacation Security Tips webpage, including a link to the new online Vacation Watch sign up webpage. Best wishes for a safe and happy vacation.

Neighborly Reminder...

Please Secure Your Trash/Recycling

The Village would like to remind residents to be mindful of mother nature when placing refuse and recycling containers out for pick-up. Strong winds, winter conditions, or even the neighborhood raccoon may cause your container to spill onto the roadway or your neighbors property. By ensuring the container is completely closed and placed on a level surface, these situations can be mitigated. Also, Advanced Disposal customers are reminded that December 25 and January 1 are holidays. Collection service will be pushed back one day. For more information on the Village's refuse and recycling services, please visit the Trash & Yard Waste webpage or contact Joe Carey, Assistant Village Manager at

Electronic Resources

The Village offers a variety of online and smart-phone resources. Check out these options:
Seasons Greetings...
and Holiday Schedules

  • Village Hall: Vernon Hills Village Hall will close at noon on Friday, December 22 and on Friday, December 29. The building will be closed on Monday, December 25 and Monday, January 1.
  • Garbage/Recycling Pick Ups:  Advanced Disposal recognizes Christmas Day (Monday, December 25) and New Year's Day (Monday, January 1) as holidays. Service will be pushed back one day.
  • Vernon Hills Park District: Sullivan Center and Lakeview Fitness will be closed on December 25, and will have adjusted hours during the holidays. Holiday open gym and swim times are available. Check their website:
  • Cook Memorial/Aspen Drive Library: Closed December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1. Check their website:

Notice of 2018 Village Board Meeting Schedule

The next meetings of the Vernon Hills Village Board are planned for January 9, January 23 and February 6 at 7 p.m.
  • The full 2018 Meeting Schedule, which was approved at the December 12 Village Board Meeting, 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.
  • 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. 

A Few Items of Interest...

  • ALDI Signs: During the December 12 Vernon Hills Village Board meeting, representatives from ALDI as well as from the Gregg's Landing community discussed signs for the store that will be built near Menards and Chase Bank in the Shoppes of Gregg's Landing North. Resident Chet Lis reported that his HOA had met and requested that signs be eliminated or reduced on the west side of the building, which faces toward the Gregg's Landing neighborhoods. ALDI was directed to reduce the size of the west-facing sign and adjust lighting to be less disruptive to residents to the west. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Village Lobbyist: Trustees approved a two-year, $54,000 annual contract with Morrill & Associates, who have provided government affairs liaison service to the Village in Springfield for more than a decade. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Overnight Parking – Online Requests: VHPD Chief Patrick Kreis outlined the number of requests (and time involved) in dealing with overnight parking requests. From January through November, the department addressed 3,861 calls, and wrote 1393 citations for non-approved parking. To make the request process simpler for residents and more efficient for the department, VHPD has set up an online request form. More information is on the overnight parking webpage. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Overnight Parking – Permit Options: Chief Patrick Kreis requested direction from Trustees regarding on-street parking options. Resident Bob Rosenberg shared his situation during winter break, when all of his children and their multiple cars must be jockeyed around for an extended period. Police and staff were directed to look at short-term paid permit options for those with extenuating circumstance, similar to policies in place for some of the Village's multi-family housing neighborhoods. Trustees cautioned that they will not be amenable to special parking for residents who do not make use of their garages for parking due to storage decisions. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Police Pension Fund: Finance Director Nikki Larson presented the Municipal Compliance Report and Actuarial Valuation Reports regarding Police Pension funding, which is currently estimated at a 66.1% funding level. The Village is on target to be 90% funded before 2040. Money comes from the Village general operating funds (the Village collects no property tax). It was noted during the meeting that further discussions will occur in the first quarter of 2018 on the FY 2018-19 pension payment as a part of the budget review process. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Police Purchase/Trade-in: Trustees approved the VHPD purchase of 50 Glock Model 17 Gen 5 9MM pistols, and the retirement of 92 firearms as surplus. Surplus items will be traded in to support the new purchase as well as procurement of holsters and magazines. Chief Kreis noted that the inventory identified as surplus was 15 years or older, and could no longer be effectively refurbished. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Village Hall Remodel: Trustees approved the selection of Hezner Corporation, Libertyville, as construction manager for the Village Hall remodel project. Hezner was low bidder at 5.9% of total cost on the project, which is expected to come in under $232,000 (significantly lower than the $350,000 originally budgeted). Work will begin shortly to reconfigure the work area just west of the Village Hall entrance doors to provide public meeting spaces, a polling place, and after-hours security for the rest of the building. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Laschen Closing: Residents are reminded that the Laschen Center will close permanently on December 31 at 5 p.m. Due to the condition of the building and the cost of needed repairs, next steps likely include demolition. Decisions will be formalized during the budget process. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Rivers Edge Development: Trustees reviewed changes made to Weiss Development's most recent proposal to build a second building at 425 Benjamin Drive. Planning and Zoning Commission had not recommended the development as conceived, raising concerns that include density and parking availability. Staff worked with the developer to reduce the unit count from 59 to 52 rental units, provide internal separation within the garage, receive approval from IDOT for a left turn lane, and secure developer completion of a section of the Des Plaines River Trail. Trustees expressed concern with the number and level of changes, and requested that the project be remanded back to Planning and Zoning for their expert review. Residents and the developer provided commentary for the board's consideration. A key resident concern is that new units are planned for rentals rather than purchased condos, which is different than what was approved approximately ten years ago when the first condo building was built. Village President Roger Byrne presented the idea of residents purchasing the remaining parcel so that they can control the outcome. (12-12-17 Board Meeting)
  • Toys for Tots: Thank you to all who contributed items to this year's Toys for Tots collection, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Your generosity was overwhelming, and greatly appreciated.

Just a few of the beautiful new toys donated to this year's Toys for Tots campaign. Thank you!
Mark Your Calendar...

Hawthorn Mall/LifeSource 12 Hours of Giving Blood Drive & Bone Marrow Registry – Dec. 20 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Hawthorn Mall.

VHHS, Stevenson Winter Breaks Begin
 – December 21.  VHHS calendar; Stevenson calendar

Hawthorn D73, Diamond Lake D76 Winter Breaks Begin – December 22.  Hawthorn calendar; Diamond Lake calendar

Park District New Year's Eve Family Party
– Sun., December 31 at 4 p.m. Count down the New Year family style.  Park District events

Park District Cheers to Five Years Celebration – January 6 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Lakeview Fitness Center.  Park District events

VHHS, Stevenson, Hawthorn D73, Diamond Lake D76 Resume Classes – January 8.  VHHS calendar; Stevenson calendar; Hawthorn calendar; Diamond Lake calendar

Park District Winterfest – January 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Century Park Pavilion on Indianwood Drive.  Park District events

Lake County 2018 Point-in-Time Homeless Count – January 24 throughout County. Volunteers needed. More information from Lake County website.

Park District Just the Two of Us Dance – February 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center.  Park District events

Stevenson Children's Theater: The Velveteen Rabbit – February 4 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Stevenson High School West Auditorium. SHS events

Stevenson Foundation Silent Auction and C5 Aerial Dance Performance – February 8 beginning at 6 p.m. at Stevenson High School Performing Arts Center.  SHS events

Park District 5th Annual Craft Beer Tasting
– March 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Sullivan Center.  Park District events

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


On behalf of the Village Trustees, President and staff, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!

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