Sunday, August 28, 2011

Household Chemical Waste (HCW) Collections
Public Drop off dates at SWALCO
Saturday, September 10,  Monday, September 26 
The Gurnee facility is located at 1311 N. Estes Street. Please use Route 41 to Delany Road (north) to Grove (east) to Estes.(Map to Facility)

Schedule your online appointment below. Limited appointments are available so sign up early!! (appointments are needed). Please click on the link below to go to our scheduling page.

Schedule an appointment now.
Click here to schedule your appointment.

(No Appointment Necessary)

Saturday, September 17, 2011    8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Lake Forest Municipal Services Center 

800 N. Field Drive
Lake Forest, IL 60045

All HCW collection events, sponsored by SWALCO, are FREE and for Illinois residents ONLY. You do not need to be a resident of the community where the collection takes place in order to participate. Please scroll down the page for a general list of items accepted and not accepted at all HCW events.

If you have questions regarding items that are accepted, please check the list below, or contact SWALCO at 847-336-9340. If you need to dispose of something before you can get to one of our events, please consult SWALCO's "Where Should My Stuff Go?" tab on our main page.
Please check back at this site routinely for an updated schedule of year-round collection events and Mobile Collections.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Budget Meetings Kick Off - Get Budget Smart!

Citizens need to get Budget Smart so they know what is happening with their tax dollars. If you are willing to dive in......... go to our City's Website and click on Know your City's Finances. Tons of information here that will provide a wide range of answers.
Please Join us at City Hall August 29th 6pm-8pm as we continue to discuss the formation of our 2012 City of Highland Park Budget. You can download the agenda packet for this meeting like all others by going to our City Council agenda and packet page.

Check out our city meeting calendar for future budget meetings and keep informed on the developments of our budget process. From the beginning discussions we have had, I promise you this budget process will not be without game changers.
See you there!

082811 Roundup

The Cary Avenue Bridge designated a local landmark. Built in 1928 at a cost of $8,500. The bridge spans 136 feet over a ravine and connects two sides Cary Avenue. The bridge has a three-foot decorative steel handrail. There is a bronze plaque commemorating the Mayor in 1928 (Benjamin Lewis), the Corporation Counsel, City Clerk, and the four City Commissioners.

New Senior Living Community approved on old phone company site between toys R us and our police station at 1651 Richfield. It will accomidate 88 residents and focus on memory and Alzheimer's care.

Thorntons gas station and medical building approval was given on the old Lincoln Mercury site adjacent to Crossroads shopping center and the Marriott Courtyard off Lake Cook Road. Construction of the gas station will begin immediately and offer Biodiesel and E85. The new medical building will be constructed in the spring. All demolition and construction will recycle the waste produced during development of this site and Senior living Community.

I asked staff to put it in gear to get plug-in stations for the new electric cars. We have been talking about it way too long and now it is time to get these stations at our train stations, public facilities, and work with business owners to make electrical hookups a reality. I hear that Walgreens has one coming soon. We also need to provide incentives to promote electric autos in Highland Park since mass use of these vehicles will reduce our addiction and dependence on foreign oil.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Tollway board members either are experiencing no pain in this recession or never drive on the tollways. How a governing body can exact an 87% increase in a rate is well beyond my comprehension in these times. Our elected members must be held accountable for these actions and this decision should be reversed. When are these folks going to realize that we have no more money to spend on non-discretionary costs. I personally can make a choice of driving on the tollway because there are plenty of alternatives, but for those folks that need to use the tollways to get to work, shop, or to go anywhere this will be huge.

Has anybody figured out how much more traffic will now come over on route 41 to bypass the tolls? What will be the additional cost for Highland Parker's in dollars and time because of this action? How many minutes will the state have us sit at these intersections waiting for regional traffic that is bypassing the tollway? We currently have to wait way too long to enter or cross route 41. How many more fatalities will occur on route 41 with increased congestion and anxiety of drivers?

Call and write Karen May and Susan Garrett to voice your concern.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How much more can citizens pay?

We are heading into our new budget cycle and are just talking about finance policy before we get into the presentation of the hard numbers for 2012. Our City Manager David Limardi will be leading us in the discussion for the final time since he will be moving on January 1, 2012. One of David's finest talents was to manage our budget policy and action agenda's. Last year when asked to have revenues meet expenditures, he met the task and then some. The Council was the one in the final analysis that backed off his balanced budget proposal and spent more than he had suggested.

That being said, I have been asking that we understand the financial stress that residents are under in this economic crunch. As our homes and property have lost significant value over the past several years, proposed real estate taxes, sewer, and water fees continue to rise. While social security checks have stayed flat and investments are shrinking, we are presented charts that show the average municipality rates to justify raising fees and taxes. If Northbrook, Willmette, Evanston, and Lake Forest can raise these fees we seemingly are enabled to do the same ourselves. NOT!

I am told well over 30% of mortgages are underwater which means those people owe more money than their home is worth. Since our homes are most of our savings, the dream has taken a quite a hit even if the stock market comes back again.

 At least for now we have not been charged in feeding the hungry, providing medical treatment to those without medical insurance, or providing housing to the homeless. For now, this job has fallen on our federal and state governments as well as those whose charity continues to flow though our wonderful not for profits. Our responsibility centers around public safety, roads, sewers, water, land use, and promotion of a vibrant economy and culture.

If staff asks us to increase fees and property taxes we need to know how many people can afford these increases before we raise anything. I have been hearing my colleagues state that we are bare bones, cut too much, and need to better fund city departments and programs. Along with looking for more efficient structures of governmental administrations, we need identify and understand the pain of our residents to see who can afford more money leaving their pockets for government. I'm ready to work and drill down as far as it takes to perform in with the best representation of our citizens. That means asking lots of questions, taking nothing for granted, and looking for brand new solutions and partnerships that might have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Let's Go!