Village of Gurnee Weekly Announcements for Friday, December 16th, 2011

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Monday, December 19th, 2011 | 7:30 PM

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Village Hall - 325 N. O'Plaine Road

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Weekly Announcements for Friday, December 16th, 2011:
  1. Village Administrator to Retire; Community Reception to be held Friday, January 6th
  2. Gurnee Police Department to begin Holiday Enforcement Campaign Monday, Dec. 19th
  3. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Electrical Aggregation
  4. Gurnee Fire Department to Participate in "Keep the Wreath Red" Program
  5. Reminder: Shop Local for the Holidays
  6. Local Resources: NACo Prescription Discount Cards
  7. Question of the Week: I heard that I can not throw out my electronics anymore.  What can I do with them?

1. Village Administrator to Retire; Community Reception to be held Friday, January 6th

As mentioned in the December issue of Keeping Posted and in the above article, Village Administrator Jim Hayner will be retiring effective Saturday, December 31st.  Hayner has had a 35 year career with the Village including serving as the Village Administrator for the past 24 years.  During his tenure, the Village saw explosive residential and commercial growth.  Some of the projects that were completed during this time include Gurnee Mills, much of the development along Grand and Hunt Club and KeyLime Cove Water Resort.  Hayner also recently lead the negotiations that finalized the financing agreement that will bring Macy's to Gurnee Mills in spring 2013.  It is because of Hayner’s leadership that the Village has one of the strongest economic positions among Chicagoland communities and an extraordinarily low amount of debt

In honor of Jim, a community reception will be held on Friday, January 6th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Steven's Restaurant.  Please feel free to stop by during this time and wish Jim best wishes and good luck in his retirement.

2. Gurnee Police Department to begin Holiday Enforcement Campaign Monday, Dec. 19th

The Gurnee Police Department will begin a holiday traffic safety enforcement campaign on Monday, Dec. 19th which will run through Sunday, January 1st.  The purpose of this campaign is to increase compliance with safety belt and other restraint laws as well to combat drunk and drugged driving.

Please drive safe, use a designated driver if you plan on drinking and have a great holiday season.  For any questions, contact the Gurnee Police Department at (847) 599-7000.

3. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Electrical Aggregation

As discussed in the December issue of Keeping Posted and on the Village's website, the Village Board recently authorized the placement of a referendum question regarding electrical aggregation on the March 20 general primary ballot.  This question asks you whether or not the Village should be allowed to bid the cost of electricity on behalf of residents and small businesses with electrical supplier companies.  The advantage of doing so is that it will give you greater discounts on electricity than you could otherwise get as an individual.  Right now, discounts that residents can achieve alone range from 10-17% off the ComEd electrical rate.  In communities that have complete the aggregation process, discounts have been roughly 22-30% off the ComEd rate.  As you can see, this has the potential to save you a significant amount of money.

You may wonder why the Village has begun promoting this so early.  The reason is that we have received questions from residents asking for advice on what to do if they would like to switch suppliers now.  Below are a few frequently asked questions and their answers regarding this process:

1. Can I go find a new supplier besides ComEd right now?

Yes.  If you would to save money in advance of any potential aggregation, under Illinois law you are able to choose your own supplier right now.  This website has a list of suppliers, current rates and other information.  These are legitimate offers as each of these suppliers has been certified by the State of Illinois.

2. What should I look for in signing a contract?

There are two primary things: the length of the contract and early termination fees.  The length of contract is very important to review before signing any contracts.  As you can see, suppliers offer greater discounts for longer term contracts but these lock you into staying with that supplier even if the Village completes the aggregation process.  If, after the aggregation process is complete, you want to leave your supplier and move to the Village's supplier, you may only be able to do so by breaking your contract and there may be steep early termination fees.  Please review these before signing anything.

3. If I sign a fixed term contract, would I be able to participate in aggregation?

Not until your contract expires or you voluntarily break it.  There may be penalties for terminating your contract early as discussed above.

 For any questions, contact Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.

4. Gurnee Fire Department to Participate in Annual "Keep the Wreath Red" Program

For the past twenty years, the Gurnee Fire Department has participated in the (local/national) "Keep the Wreath Red" program during the holiday season. As you drive past the fire stations during this time, please take note of the large wreath that will be prominently displayed in front of the buildings.

This wreath will be illuminated with red lights. When a fire is determined to be caused or related to Christmas decorations, one of the bulbs will be changed to white. The program is designed to remind the public of fire safety during the Christmas season.

Safety tips to remember this holiday season:

  • If you want a natural tree, select only a fresh tree (be sure the needles do not readily fall off).
  • Avoid overloading circuits or extension cords. Use only manufacturers maximum number of light strings.
  • Keep natural tree away from any heat source that will cause drying.
  • Never use lighted candles on or near a tree. Keep candles away from Christmas wrappings.
  • Turn off lights when adults are away. A short circuit could start a fire.
  • Never leave lighted candles unattended.

For any questions, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at (847) 599-6680.

5. Reminder: Shop Local for the Holidays

As a friendly reminder, please shop locally for the holidays.  Every dollar you put back into the Gurnee economy helps not only support locally based businesses and employment but also the Village through the revenue from sales tax.  The Village strives to maintain the best quality services for the lowest possible cost and local reinvestment helps keep your taxes low.  Please support your community during this holiday season. 

6. Local Resources: NACo Prescription Medication Discount Cards

The cost of prescription medication continues to go up and some people may have a hard time paying these costs, especially during the holiday season.  Fortunately, Lake County is one of several counties nationwide that participate in the National Association of Counties (NACo) prescription discount card program.  As a Lake County resident, you can download the card for free and use it at any participation pharmacy for discounts.  Learn more on Lake County's website.

7. Question of the Week: I've heard that I cannot throw out electronics anymore.  What can I do with them?

Beginning on January 1st, 2012, the Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act bans certain types of electronics from being thrown into Illinois landfills including TVs, computer monitors, computer towers, laptops, electronic mice and many other standard electronic items you may have in your home.  Unfortunately, this means you cannot throw out as you could in the past for Waste Management to collect.  Fortunately, Lake County has a great resource in the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO).  SWALCO can accept most of the above items at its electronic recycling events which are held around the county and throughout year.  Events are held at the Gurnee Public Works Facility and Warren Township each year and announced in Keeping Posted and on this listserv prior to the event.  For any questions, please contact SWALCO at (847) 336-9340.


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