The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
April 13, 2021
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • 2021-22 Budget
  • Election Results 
  • Road Rehab
  • Composting Tips
  • Earth Day Partnership
  • Compost/Rain Barrel
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Hawthorn Redevelopment
  • Water Reservoir
  • KinderCare Concept
  • White Deer Run Proposal
  • Salary Adjustment
  • Bucky's to Casey's
  • Audit Service Change
  • Tree City - May 8
  • Thank You, Attorney Winer
  • Pageant Applications
  • Dine and Shop Guide
  • Reach Out

Village Voice eNews

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Proposed Fiscal Year 2021/22 Budget Expenses

2021-22 Village Budget Moves Forward
The 2021-22 Vernon Hills Village Draft Budget was reviewed in Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 7, and is expected to be formally approved by Trustees during the April 20 Village Board Meeting. The Committee of the Whole had previously reviewed and approved a combined budget of $38,104,000 for all funds, with a General Fund approved in the amount of $29,258,046. Note that while the Public Hearing represents the specific time set aside for residents to address the entire Board on the Budget, staff and elected officials are always available for your comments and questions. For more information, please view the resource list below:



Results for

April 6 Consolidated Election
The April 6 Consolidated Election included a variety of local candidates – Village, school boards, park districts, townships, and more. Unofficial election results from the Lake County Clerk indicate that Roger Byrne is re-elected Village President, and Craig Takaoka, Thom Koch Jr., Michael Schenk and Nancy Forster are elected to Village Trustee positions. Officials will be sworn in at the May 4 Village Board Meeting. Note that election results are unofficial until Provisional and late-arriving Vote By Mail ballots are counted 14 days after the election and the results are certified. The full list of results is available on the Lake County Clerk's Election Results webpages. Thank you to all who stepped forward in service to their community, as well as those who took time to vote.

Road Rehab Starts in May

The Village's annual Road Rehab project is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 3, and be substantially complete by early July.

Work will be done on the following streets: Cherry Valley Road from Lakeside to Oakwood, and between Oakwood and Westmoreland; Richard Court; Court of Ash; Court of Elm; Greenbrier Lane; Lakeside Drive between Westmoreland and Cherry Valley; and Westmoreland Drive between Lakeside Drive and Cherry Valley Road. Please use extra care when traveling in this area as delays are expected and workers or flaggers may be present. 

The project will begin by removing and replacing concrete curb/gutter, sidewalk and drainage structures. During this time, neighbors are asked not to park on the streets, though homeowners whose driveway access is interrupted will be allowed to park on the street overnight. The next scope of work involves asphalt pavement milling, patching, prep and new asphalt overlay as well as landscape restoration.

Homeowners in this construction zone with pet fences or irrigation systems, or who have other concerns, are asked to contact Public Works by calling 847-367-3726 weekdays between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. More information, including a Project Map, is available on the Annual Road Rehabilitation Project web article. Once the project gets underway, Public Works will post updates on the Public Works & Engineering webpage.

Composting Tips!

The Village residential waste hauler (Waste Management) offers customers the option to participate in a composting program. Here are some suggestions for getting started with composting from neighbors who are giving it a try:
  • Do a trial run with Yard Waste stickers. Purchase Vernon Hills yard waste stickers from Home Depot, Menards, Village Hall, etc. Put your compost in with your yard waste or on its own. (SWALCO suggests using a rigid walled "yard waste/compost" container such as a garbage can marked with an "X," which may hold up better for compost than a Kraft paper bag on its own.) Add a sticker and place at the curb on your regular garbage day, and Waste Management will deliver it to Midwest Organics to be turned into organic matter for fields and gardens.
  • Start small. Keep a small covered container under your sink for egg shells, apple cores, potato peels and the like. Regularly empty this container into your larger compost keeper (Kraft bag, yard waste tote, etc.). Wash often and add baking soda from time to time. Some compost containers are not only air tight (and smell proof), but they are pretty enough to keep out on your countertop.
  • Add compost to your existing yard waste. If you already pay for a seasonal yard waste collection for grass clippings, leaves, etc., just dump your compost right in. It all gets picked up at the same time for delivery to the commercial compost center. 
  • Focus on a few items. Pick an item or two to get starting on the composting habit. Did you know you can compost paper towels, paper plates, egg cartons, pizza boxes, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, meat and bones? Pick something and give it a try. 
  • Check out SWALCO resources. Check the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County Residential Food Scrap Composting Program summary as well as the Compost Guide for tips on how to compost, what to compost, and what to leave out.
  • Call the hauler. Sign up for subscription service by calling Waste Management at 847-623-3870. Information is also available on the Village Trash & Yard Waste webpage. Please note that residents in multi-family or HOA neighborhoods may use another provider offering different services as negotiated by your organization.
  • Learn more. Visit the Go Green Vernon Hills - Lincolnshire Facebook page and the Village Go Green webpage.

Looking Ahead...
Earth Day is April 22 
Learn more at

Partnership on Westmoreland Green Space
The Village is celebrating Earth Day on April 14 by working with partners to clean up a green space off Westmoreland Drive. Thank you to partners from the neighborhood, Waste Management, the Park District, Public Works, the Vernon Hills-Lincolnshire Go Green Team, Lowe's and the Village for making our environment better for everyone.

Have an idea for an improvement?
Please consider reaching out in partnership to the community. It's a great way to meet your neighbors and get involved. Working together we can do so much to make things better!

Park District Earth Day Event
Residents are invited to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 at the Century Park Pavilion. From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., attendees can plant a pot with wildflower seeds, learn about the importance of milkweed for butterflies, and win prizes. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Free event. Learn more on the Park District website

Rain Barrel & Compost Bins
Public Works is coordinating with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) on that agency's annual compost bin and rain barrel sale. Order from SWALCO – information is on the SWALCO website or call SWALCO's Merleanne Rampale at 847-377-4954. Order through April 23 while supplies last and pick up May 8 – details to be determined. 

Proposed Reservoir Relocation – Lake County Public Works has proposed a new site for a Village water reservoir. The site is east of the White Deer Run maintenance facility, and north of the railroad tracks across from the Park District Maintenance Facility. While in Vernon Hills, the site is owned by the Village of Mundelein. Lake County intends to purchase the property and construct a 2 million gallon domed water reservoir and pump house along the western edge of the abandoned 5.5 acre property.


Meeting Schedule
   Tuesday, April 20
   Tuesday, May 4 
   Tuesday, May 18

  • Meeting Format: Meetings are now being conducted in-person at the Village Hall. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. Capacity limits will be enforced.
  • Public comment may be provided in-person at the beginning of each meeting. 
  • Meetings begin at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted
  • Agendas and Minutes are posted online for each meeting
  • Meeting recordings are available on the Village YouTube Channel
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage

Items of Note...

Budget Discussions: As noted in the initial news article at the top of this eNews, March Board Meetings have included discussion of the 2021-22 Budget. No comment was provided during the April 7 Public Hearing, which puts the budget on track for formal approval during the April 20 Board Meeting. Budget Draft  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Hawthorn Redevelopment Agreement: During the April 7 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees reviewed the general plan for supporting not only the redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall, but also the many steps taken to support partner taxing bodies (especially Hawthorn schools) as well as legal protections put in place to safeguard the Village and ensure the appropriate completion of the project. Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer, Village Attorney James Ferolo and Robert Rychlicki, representing consultant Kane McKenna & Associates, summarized the proposed agreement, which is many months in the making. As part of the project, the Village established a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District, with the payout structure tied to specific completion schedules and expenditures. This pay-as-you-go structure encourages work to be completed in a timely fashion in order for the developer to be eligible for payments spread across three phases. If schedules are not met or construction budgets are reduced, payments from the Village would be reduced or potentially eliminated. If sales tax generation is below benchmarks, the developer will reimburse the Village to cover the gap. (Note that the Village does not collect property taxes, but rather relies on sales tax to fund the bulk of Village-provided services.)

Of particular note is that the Village worked with the developer to secure financial support for taxing body partners substantially over what is outlined by statue or typical for redevelopment agreements. Hawthorn District 73 is slated to receive 27 percent of the TIF increment generated by the residential development paid annually (for a projected total of $17,856,779 over the term of the TIF) as well as $400,000 in impact fees. Unlike typical agreements, Hawthorn payments are not based on the number of students housed in the new residential development. (Historically, the luxury rental market does not attract renters with children, so the actual impact of new students is minimal.) Hawthorn District 128 will receive 13 percent of the TIF increment paid annually, as well as $46,500 in impact fees. Cook Memorial Library District will be eligible to receive 2 percent of the increment to cover additional costs for any new library members. Vernon Hills Park District will receive $1,830,000 in impact fees, while Countryside Fire Protection District will receive $500,000 in impact fees. The Village of Vernon Hills will receive 60 percent of generated sales tax (with safeguards in place for additional reimbursement from the developer if sales tax marks are not hit).

The initial developer request for $58 million was negotiated down to $46.5 million, with the first $38 million eligible for payment at completion of Phase I construction; the remaining $12.5 million is eligible for payment at the completion of Phase III (the final phase of work). Proceeds are paid solely from TIF increments; no bonds or obligations will be secured for this redevelopment. Formal Redevelopment Agreement documents are being prepared, with anticipation of a formal Board vote at either the April 20 or May 4 Meeting. 
(Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Water Reservoir: Representatives from Lake County Public Works presented concepts  for a 2 million gallon water reservoir planned for construction east of the White Deer Run Golf Course maintenance facility, on abandoned property owned by the Village of Mundelein. The 5.5 acre parcel will be purchased by the County to build the project, which will include a domed reservoir and an adjoining pump house. The site, which is ringed by vegetation and placed away from residences, is crucial in ensuring additional water supply for the Village.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

KinderCare Concept Presentation: Representatives of KinderCare's construction group appeared before the April 7 Committee of the Whole Meeting to share concepts for a new daycare facility at 1750 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the Shoppe's of Gregg's Landing. As proposed, the 11,990 square foot building would sit west of the existing detention pond along Milwaukee Avenue. Staff noted that the Vernon Hills Park District (who also operate daycare and preschool programs) was not against this location. Trustees were generally favorable, though before any substantive decisions are made they want to know the company's plan for other local KinderCare facilities. The project moves on to technical review and Planning and Zoning/Public Hearing before returning to the Board for a vote. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

White Deer Run Golf Course Lease Proposal: The Village has been notified that Plote Construction Inc. and the Plote family are looking to step away from the golf course business. Plote built White Deer Run during the construction of the Gregg's Landing subdivision, and has leased and run the course for more than 20 years – a partnership appreciated by the Board and the community. Heritage Golf Group, a boutique golf management company, was presented as their recommendation to take over the lease. After much due diligence by the Plote family, Heritage was hired to assume responsibility for Boulder Ridge in Lake in the Hills. Heritage noted their interest in supporting White Deer Run with capital improvements and introduce charitable fundraising and new events. The Village is currently doing additional due diligence related to the company's performance and financial strength. Decision of reassignment of the White Deer Run Golf Course lease will be formally discussed and potentially voted upon at a later meeting. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Salary Adjustment for Non-Collective Bargaining Employees: During the April 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, Police Chief Patrick Kreis outlined that three Collective Bargaining Agreements – for police officers, sergeants and tele-communications – encompasses nearly 75 percent of the entire Village workforce. The agreed upon annual salary adjustments for those groups are 2.9 percent for police officers, 2.75 percent for sergeants, and 2.5 percent for tele-communicators. Chief Kreis recommended a 2.5 percent salary adjustment for all individual exempt employees (except executive staff), effective May 1. Trustees expressed support, and the matter will be formally voted upon at the April 20 Board Meeting.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Bucky's Becomes Casey's: During the April 7 Liquor and License Commission Hearing, Casey's Retail Company requested a Class "D" Liquor License for the station located at 294 E. Townline Road. The request is due to change of ownership.

Audit Service Change: During the April 7 Meeting, Chief Financial Officer Kyle Cratty noted that in accordance with best practices in finance, staff recommended a change in auditing firms for fiscal years 2021 through 2025. The Village's five-year contract with Sikich is expiring, and based on proposals received, staff recommended moving to Selden Fox, an Oak Brook-based organization specializing in governmental auditing services. Trustees approved as part of the Omnibus Vote Agenda. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Congratulations and Thank You: Trustees expressed gratitude for those who ran for all public offices, as well as for all who took the time to vote. Thanks, again, to outgoing Trustee James Schultz, who did not run for re-election after serving the Village for 16 years.

Tree City USA: Vernon Hills again earned the moniker Tree City USA for their efforts in supporting our urban forest. Public Works encourages residents to watch for special events planned for May 8 in celebration of Arbor Day. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Thank You for Supporting the Vaccination Clinic: Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer expressed thanks to our community partners and Jewel-Osco for creating a pop-up clinic that distributed 1200 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Volunteers from the Park District, Cook Memorial Library, Vernon Hills Police Department, Jewel and many more created an efficient  event, hosted by the Park District Sullivan Center. Thank you, everyone. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/7/21)

Honoring Attorney Harold H. Winer

On April 7, the Village Board, the Vernon Hills Police Department, staff, family and friends joined in a socially distant celebration to honor long-time prosecutor Harold H. Winer for his service to our community. Mr. Winer (fondly known as "Hal" to those who have been fortunate enough to work with him), is exactly what is meant but the term "The Greatest Generation." As a young man, Hal put his high school education on hold to serve in the US Army's 7th Infantry Division from January 3, 1945 to November 28, 1946. Upon returning  stateside, he earned a Veteran's GED, and went on to graduate from Syracuse University. While working full time as a probation officer, he attended night school, earning his law degree from John Marshall Law School in 1960.

While acting as outside counsel to prosecute a ticket in Deerfield, he was so well liked and respected that he worked himself into a job with that community – and eventually did the same in our town when at some point in 1963 a ticket was issued in Vernon Hills (perhaps regarding our single stoplight at the time).

Mr. Winer is the longest serving prosecutor in Lake County history. He leaves a legacy of professionalism and exceptional character, which is being carried on by his two oldest sons who continue his work. Of particular importance has been his mentoring of countless men and women who serve as police officers in our community. Mr. Winer noted that VHPD is one of the best departments anywhere – and he has been honored to meet and work with so many rookies who actually went on to retire before he did. On behalf of the entire community, thank you and best wishes.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

LINKS: Registration PSA & VH Update Interview

VH Pageant

Zoom Info Meeting April 11
Online Applications Due May 15
Miss Vernon Hills Madisyn Chiarello, Jr. Miss Jeneen Alsamsam, and Little Miss Adija Varnelis invite girls ages 6 to 21 (by June 12) to participate in this year's Vernon Hills Pageant. Queens serve as ambassadors for our Village, participating in special events and service projects. They also compete in the Lake County Pageant. Applications must be submitted online by May 15, and are found on the Vernon Hills Pageant website ( Participants and their guardians may also want to watch the video of the info session held on April 11, which is posted on the website. The Pageant is planned for June 12 at the Vernon Hills Sullivan Center. For more information, please visit

Shop, Dine & Shine in Town
Check out the newest edition of the Vernon Hills Dining & Shopping Guide. Thank you for supporting all of the wonderful business partners (and their employees) located right here in town. 

Golf @ the Muni!
Go online to book tee times, arrange for special events, inquire about lessons and more. Consistently named one of the top courses in Chicagoland, "The Muni" is located at 291 Evergreen Drive. Visit or call 847-680-9310 to learn more. 

"I took a walk in the woods
and came out taller than the trees."

– Henry David Thoreau


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