Village of Gurnee Weekly Announcements for Friday, Janaury 13th, 2012

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Weekly Announcements for Friday, January 13, 2012:
  1. Christmas Tree Collection Continues Through Tuesday, January 24th
  2. Frosty Fest to be held Friday, January 20th
  3. Gurnee Fire Department Cautions Residents on Bathroom/Kitchen Exhaust Fan Safety
  4. Reminder: Electronics Now Banned from Illinois Landfills
  5. Reminder: Common Questions Regarding Snow Clearing
  6. Local Resources: Museum Passes Available through Warren-Newport Public Library
  7. The Weekly Update: Police Officer Matt Bendler Receives Medal of Valor; Public Works Combats First Snow Event of the Year

1. Christmas Tree Collection Continues through Tuesday, January 24th

Waste Management began its annual Christmas Tree collection service on Tuesday, January 3rd and will hold collections on each of the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 17th
  • Tuesday, January 24th

Waste Management will stop all collection after January 24th.  In order for a tree to be collected, it must be placed at the curb or the edge of the road by 7:00 a.m. on the pick-up day. All lights and decorations must be removed. In addition, the trees SHOULD NOT be placed in plastic bags.Trees over 6 feet should be cut in half so one person can handle them. Also, trees should be placed on top of the snow. Trees buried under the snow could result in Waste Management not collecting them.

2. Frosty Fest to be held Friday, January 20th

Gurnee Park District will hold the fourth annual Frosty Fest on Friday, January 20th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Viking Park.  The event is free and open to the public. Events this year will include a dog sled demonstration by Adopt-A-Husky, visits with Frosty the Snowman, Carriage Rides, Ice Sculpting, Snowman Building Contest, Music and Crafts in the “Snowflake Village”, music provided by KHits 104.3fm and Marshmallow Roasting.  For more information, visit the Park District's website

3. Gurnee Fire Department Cautions Residents on Bathroom/Kitchen Exhaust Fan Safety

Though common, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can cause a significant amount of fire damage if they are not properly maintained.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fans were the source of roughly 3,800 fires each year in 2003 through 2007 with the number growing each year due to older models malfunctioning.  Fortunately, simple maintenance can reduce the possibility of malfunction and possibly save your home from a fire.

Here are a few tips on the proper maintenance of these fans:

  • Have your exhaust fan installed by a professional.
  • Be sure to clean the fan vent cover openings, fan blades and motor annually.
  • Most exhaust fans should not be lubricated with oil, silicone or other types of lubricant.  Check with the manufacturers recommendations prior to applying any lubricants.
  • Do not leave an exhaust running when you leave home or you go to bed.
  • If you notice a problem with the fan, clean it throughly.  If the problem persists, contact a professional and discontinue use until the problem has been fixed.

For more tips on exhaust fans and other safety concerns, please visit the Fire Department's website.

4. Reminder: Electronics Now Banned from Illinois Landfills

Starting January 1st, 2012, the Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act banned 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 (a full list can be found here).  Unfortunately, this means that items that Waste Management would normally have collected as part of regular pick up, it can no longer accept.  Residents are encouraged to find and use alternative arrangements in order to dispose of their electronics including the following:

  • The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) - SWALCO offers both year-round and mobile electronic recycling at various times throughout the year.  A list of year-round electronics collection sites and their hours of operation can be found here.  The Village's Public Works Department and Warren Township Road District both host mobile collection events during the year.  Watch the Village's website or suscribe to the Village's electronic listservs for updates.
  • Donating to Local Non-Profits - Various non-profits in Lake County will accept used electronics to use as part of their mission.  Through United Way of Lake County's website, you can find agency wishlists and decide where you would like to donate.  More information is available on the Find Help Lake County website.

For any questions, call SWALCO at (847) 336-9340 or United Way of Lake County at (847) 775-1000.

5. Reminder: Common Questions Regarding Snow Clearing

After each snow event, the Village receives some common questions from residents regarding what their responsibilities are in terms of clearing their sidewalks or what they can do to help Public Works in plowing the streets.  Below are the most frequent questions and their answers:

1. Are Homeowners Required to Clean Up the Sidewalks Adjacent to their Property?

No.  The Village strongly encourages residents to clear the portion of sidewalk adjacent to their property after snowfall.  It should be noted that while this is not a requirement of residents, those residents who make a good faith effort to clear the portion adjacent to their property are protected from any personal injury liability associated with their portion of sidewalk under Illinois state law.

2. What can I do to help Public Works clear the streets?

One major problem that works against snow removal operations is people shoveling or blowing snow back onto the street after it has been plowed and salted. Village ordinance prohibits placing snow back onto the roadway once it has been plowed. Snow that has been deposited onto the street could refreeze and cause a hazardous condition for you or your neighbors. Please place the snow that you shovel off of your driveway and sidewalk onto the adjacent parkway and not back onto the street.

  • When it starts to snow, park your vehicle off of the street. This protects the car from being splashed with slush and salt, prevents the car from being plowed in, or from receiving a ticket and being towed.
  • Check that your mailbox and post are in good repair and that they are behind the curb, not leaning out over the street. For specifications on mailbox placement, please reference the Village's Mailbox Damage from Snow Plowing Policy (PDF).
  • If there is a fire hydrant in front of your home, please try to clear the snow around the hydrant. It is there for your protection and that of your neighbors.
  •  Please remove portable basketball hoops from the street right of way. If they are left in an area where they can be damaged by our snow removal operations, the Village will not be responsible for any damage.

For any questions, please contact Public Works at (847) 599-6800 or Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.

 6. Local Resources: Museum Passes Available through Warren-Newport Public Library

Looking to take a trip to the Brookfield Zoo or the Chicago Bontanical Gardens?  With the Macy's Museum Adventure Pass Program, you can get into these museums and more by simply visiting Warren Newport Public Library.  Library card holders can check out Museum passes for general admission or some other special offer for up to seven days and use the pass at several Chicagoland cultural facilities.  For more information, visit the Library's website.

7. The Weekly Update: Police Officer Matt Bendler Receives Medal of Valor; Public Works Combats First Snowfall of the Year


  •  A Meet & Greet was held with Patrick Muetz, Village Administrator, and his family on Monday. January 9th.  Mr. Muetz began his new position on January 1st but was officially sworn in at the regular Village Board meeting held after the Meet & Greet.  Thank you to all the residents and other community members who attended the event.  A short video featuring the Oath of Office will be posted on the Village's website in the next few weeks.

Community Development:

  • In the last week, Six Flags Great America began erecting X-Flight, a new wing roller coaster to open this spring at Great America.  The Village's Building Division will be working closely with Great America to ensure that the ride is safe and compliant with the Village's code.  The anticipated open date for X-Flight is Memorial Day weekend.  As you may know, wing roller coasters are a new type of roller coaster where guests ride alongside the track and not above or below it.  X-Flight will be the second such coaster in North America and only one of six in the world.  The photo to the right is a rendering from a virtual tour courtesy of Six Flags.
  • Also in this past week, the Community Development department began interviewing potential consultants for a review and edit of the Village's Zoning Ordinance.  This ordinance regulates the use of land in the Village and ensures that future growth and redevelopment follows uniform gudielines.

Fire Department:

  • The Fire Department met with representatives from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) this past week to beginning planning for an October field inspection.  The ISO rates communities on their ability to respond to hazardous situations as determined through a field inspection, and this rating is one of several components in calculating your home insurance premium.  The Department's received an ISO rating of 3 during the last inspection in 2000 on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the highest possible score.

Police Department:

  • Officer Matt Bendler was awarded the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor on Monday, January 9th at the regular Village Board meeting.  The Medal is awarded annually to an officer who displayed extraordinary heroism at great personal risk.  The Village has created a video of the award ceremony for residents to view.  Please click on the picture to the right to visit our YouTube account.
  • According to statistics reported this week by the Police Chief Kevin Woodside, 93% of all car burglaries that occur in local residential areas are linked to the owner leaving their car doors unlocked.  Please lock your doors to prevent such a burglary from happening to you.

Public Works Department:

  • The Public Works Department plowed its first snow fall event this year beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.  In between 12:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. while plowing on Thursday, the snow plow drivers used 133.2 tons of geosalt and 2788 gallons of supermix.  Supermix is a liquid agent added to salt to help improve it effectiveness.  Learn more about the agents used in plowing and anti-icing on the Village's website.
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