Dollars @ Work
We May Not Like Our Taxes, but They Are Essential
1. Infrastructure Construction, such as roads, drainage systems, sewers and water supplies in many of our towns
2. Infrastructure Maintenance
3. Clean Drinking Water
4. Stormwater Management Systems
5. Land-Use Planning and Protection
In addition to activities related to water (including sewers or regulations for septics), our local village and county taxes support fire and police departments, emergency coordination and response, many local roads, economic development, public health facilities, our schools, park districts and libraries, convenient services (like seasonal brush pick-up), and more. We want our Villages to be able to attract people to manage our resources who are highly competent and service-minded, who can smartly husband and allocate time, material and financial resources as well as possible. It is a tough balancing act.
Plus, we, the public, often don’ t recognize the value of some of the services – like some of our infrastructure, or maintenance – because it is mostly hidden, or may cause us inconvenience when it is addressed – like roads. We often don’t consider the amount of coordination time and expertise our village personnel spend in order to coordinate with public utilities or IDOT, the state transportation authority, or private entities like the CN Railway or Union Pacific.
There are also many laws and regulations that have been passed by our State Legislatures that our local governments must understand, implement and abide by. Some of those laws and regulations may date back to before horse and buggy days (like some of the railway-related ones). Many may need to be updated, and working with legislators takes time too.
This section takes a look at some of the local government activities that directly affect the protection of our surface waters and aquifers.
These are just some of the ways that government activities help protect us, our lifestyles, and the natural resources that sustain us all.
Grassy Lake Trails
Lake County Forest Preserve's Grassy Lake offers 5.8 miles of gravel and mowed grass trails winding through oak woodlands and colorful sedge meadows, replete with native plants.
Sandhill Cranes at Deer Park
The Village of Deer Park purchased the 15 acre site to preserve some historical structures, provide offices for the Deer Park Village staff, a venue for Village meetings, community meetings, and events. The grounds offer restored native prairie, butterfly gardens and walking paths.
When Villages go through their Comprehensive Planning Process, it’s an effort to balance healthy residential, commercial, recreational, infrastructure, and critical natural areas. It’s a time for residents to share their ideas and visions as well.