On Tuesday, November 6 Beach Park residents will have the following question on their ballot:

Ballot Question

The purpose of this web page is to provide information regarding the definition of home rule in the State of Illinois and how its status affects the Village of Beach Park. It is intended to educate rather than advocate. Visitors are strongly encouraged to check back frequently as content will change and dates for public information meetings will be posted.

What is Home Rule?
Provided in the Illinois Constitution, Home Rule shifts decision making from the State of Illinois (Springfield) to the local community (Beach Park). Home Rule gives local citizens increased ability to find local solutions to local issues. Home Rule communities may exercise a greater range of responsibilities for the welfare of their residents. Home Rule communities are exempt from many of the requirements mandated by State legislation.

How does a community become Home Rule?

  • By population: Communities in Illinois with a population greater than 25,000 automatically have Home Rule authority.
  • By referendum: Communities in Illinois with a population of less than 25,000 may become Home Rule by voter approval via a referendum.

How many communities are Home Rule?

Home Rule is prevalent in Illinois. Currently 215 Illinois communities are Home Rule and a majority of these became Home Rule by referendum. As a result, nearly 80% of all Illinois citizens live in a Home Rule community.

Which communities in our region are Home Rule?

Home Rule Communities

What are the benefits of Home Rule?

Home Rule can help preserve Beach Park's character by:

  • Maintaining and expanding the existing level of public works services
  • Allow for more flexibility with personnel policies and financial planning
  • Ability to opt-out of state legislation that is inconsistent with village needs
  • Enhance the use of Administrative Adjudication to enforce village ordinances
  • Maintaining sound infrastructure of roads, water, storm water, and sanitary systems
  • Allowing Beach Park increased authority to preserve the unique character of the Village through zoning regulations

Home Rule can enhance financial flexibility by:

  • Sustaining the village’s long-term financial stability through fiscally conservative practices
  • Diversifying the village’s revenue streams
  • Responding more quickly and flexibly to the changing market conditions
  • Providing a way for non-residents to pay for the services they utilize when in our community (sales tax, prepared food and beverage tax, gas tax)
  • Managing the village with lower general fund operating reserves
  • Improved bond ratings which lowers borrowing costs

Home Rule can provide local solutions for local needs by:

Opting out of State legislation inconsistent with our community needs

  • Affording increased responsiveness to public issues specific to Beach Park (property maintenance, vacant commercial sites, local enforcement of zoning violations, community development initiatives, flooding, crime free rental housing)
  • Providing for a stronger say in Springfield – nearly 80% of Illinois residents live in Home Rule communities
  • Providing the village with greater autonomy from Springfield

What are the disadvantages of Home Rule?

With Home Rule, local government has more discretion to generate revenue through issuing bonds and by increased taxes, including the ability to implement and raise property taxes above the tax cap.

What about my property taxes?

Unlike the surrounding communities, the Village of Beach Park levies a 0% property tax. In 1987 several people met to discuss the possibility of incorporating Beach Park. After two years of hard work and planning, this small group of people was able to work with the residents to pass a referendum and Beach Park, Illinois became a reality. In 1989 the Village was incorporated.

The village was founded upon the principal that municipal government’s mission should provide a self-sustaining, accessible, business and residential friendly government while assuring the health, safety and welfare of the village as a whole. This mission has not changed.

What about future village boards and/or Mayors? How will residents oversee the use of Home Rule?

  • Participate in village elections
    • 50% of Trustees are elected every 2 years
    • The Mayor is elected every 4 years
  • Participate in Village Board and committee meetings
    • Public comment is encouraged on all agenda and non-agenda items
    • All resolutions and ordinances are published, discussed and acted upon in open session meetings
  • Information about decisions made by the village board is available to residents on this website and at Village Hall
  • The Mayor and Trustees are Beach Park residents, serving as volunteers and personally affected by Village Board actions
  • Voters can file a petition to rescind Home Rule

Check out these other resources about Home Rule:

National Health Center Week is August 12-18, 2018. To celebrate this national campaign, the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center will host a public open house on Friday, August 17, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the new Zion Health Center, located at 1911 27th Street, Zion.

Event activities include:

  • Tours of the new facility and information about Health Department services;
  • Fun activities for children, light refreshments, and giveaways; and
  • The opportunity to schedule appointments, including school physicals and immunizations.

The new Zion Health Center opened to serve patients on June 14, 2018. The site was fully renovated to provide integrated health services, including primary care, dental care, behavioral health, women’s health, nutrition services, case management, and more – providing truly holistic, patient-centered care under one roof.

National Health Center Week is a campaign during the week of August 12-18 that aims to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers and the dedicated staff who bring health care to the medically underserved.

The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is part of a nationwide network of health centers that serve more than 27 million Americans. Health centers have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

  • Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings;
  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;
  • Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; 
  • Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget; and
  • Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35 percent.

More than 205,000 people work at health centers across America in positions that include clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dentists and dental hygienists, behavioral health specialists, and more. Working together, these health care “heroes” produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness, and substance use disorders. Their work has helped reduce health care costs and reduce chronic disease, generating a record of success and a long tradition of bipartisan support in Congress.

To learn more about National Health Center Week and the listing of events please visit: www.healthcenterweek.org. You can also follow the conversation using #NHCW18 on Twitter.

For appointments at the Zion Health Center or other Lake County Health Department locations, please contact the Health Department’s Patient Access Center at (847) 377-8800.

About the Lake County Health Department:

The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center’s mission is promoting the health and well-being of all who live, work, and play in Lake County. The Health Department operates nine Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) sites which serve over 40,000 patients annually. For more information, visit http://health.lakecountyil.gov/

On Saturday, August 18 at 9:30 am - grab a mat (or a towel) and join us for a FREE multi-level community yoga class! This 45 minute class is open to all - no experience required! Click here for more information!

The updated 2018 Fee Schedule is available here.

Fees are intended to cover or defray the cost of operating expenses for various service provisions. On a continuous basis throughout the year staff monitors whether the fees charged are adequate to cover expenses. The fee schedule is updated accordingly each year in conjunction with the annual water rate increases from the City of Waukegan.

Several of the fees in the building department needed to be updated and increased to cover costs. Many had not been updated in years.

Little Library 3 Web

Only these libraries look like birdhouses. They don’t require library cards or late fines, don’t insist that patrons whisper or stay quiet, and don’t mind if you do not return a book.

As of 2017, there are more than 65,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 80 countries…and now, Beach Park!

The Village of Beach Park, in cooperation with the Zion/Benton Library and Lynne Epperson of Illinois Meemic Insurance is pleased to roll out the Little Free Library program throughout the Village of Beach Park. Ms. Epperson began the program through her connection at Kenneth Murphy Elementary in 2017, and earlier this year the Village and Zion-Benton Library joined forces with her to get the program rolled out throughout Beach Park.

Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. The more the merrier! If you take a book (or two) from a library, you do not need to return that exact book. However, in order to keep the Little Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the Library bring a few books to share. Little Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside. This way, we all win!

Most Little Free Libraries are placed in front yards, parks, gardens and easily accessible locations. The Libraries are built to withstand weather of all kinds and hold 10-20 books. There will be a library installed in Founders Park, at Village Hall and other public places.
What do the Little Libraries look like?

The libraries are about the size of a mailbox and sit about four feet high once they are mounted.
The library box is approximately 22” wide, 20” deep and 28” tall and comes mounted on a five-foot 4" x 4" post. Residents who are interested in hosting can see the first library that was recently installed in front of Village Hall.

I am interested in hosting – what do I do?
Residents who are willing to host a Little Free Library can contact Village Hall at 847-746-1770 and Public Works will install the library on your property, in a location of your choice, but near a sidewalk or bike path. The libraries come as pictured, but hosts are free to customize them.

Do I have to fill it with books to start?
Nope! After your library is installed by Public Works, all you have to do is contact Ms. Lynne Epperson at 224-643-7506 provide the name and address and ages of family members and they will deliver books to you to get your library started.

Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Let’s bring this movement to Beach Park -- call Village Hall to sign up to host your library today!

Recycling can be cumbersome if you are unsure what items are recyclable.  Here is a link to the Advanced Disposal website with detailed information on what can be recycled and why:  Recycle Right!