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Chairman's Corner: Decentralized Self-Government

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2/21/2017 7:00 PM

Chairman's Corner: February 2017 Address

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9/26/2016 5:00 PM

Kane County Recycling Program Reinstated

12/17/2015 3:00 PM

​Anderson's Road Overpass Opening Ceremony​

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3/27/2015 5:00 PM

Employers: Internship Youth Programs

Are you between ages of 18 to 21 years and looking for a job? Check out getting a Paid Internship through the Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP) TODAY! Apply and you could obtain a job or take free classes in manufacturing. Hit the ground running with the Boot Camp and springboard into your new career through this free program. Get your foot in the door at local companies with skills you can gain through the MCIP Boot Camp and Paid Internship Program.

For an overview click here. For additional information click here.

WDD video
12/30/2014 4:00 PM
Thanks to board members, countywide elected officials, our management team and entire staff, Kane County enjoyed a productive year. We all thank you for the opportunity to serve.
This began as a list of “Top 5” Achievements for 2014, but grew by several more items that I’d like to share with you.

1. Property Tax Levy Freeze for 4th Consecutive Year

County services of public safety, justice, transportation, public health, free and fair elections, planning, environmental protection, veterans’ services and much more were delivered for another year with no increase to Kane County property taxpayers. We are living within the same means that you provided in 2010 without asking for more.

2. $45 Million of State and Federal Funds Obtained for Longmeadow Parkway Construction

When we collect our county’s fair share of state and federal funds, it relieves the burden for that much sacrifice on the part of property taxpayers. This savings represents almost an entire year’s levy ($54.6 million). 

3. Open County Government

“A clear conscience is the softest pillow.” as the adage goes. We continue to open more doors to constituent review and participation in county government.
First, it was county finances that were opened to all countywide elected officials, board members, executive team, frontline staff members and every citizen.
Then, all appointments to county boards and commissions were put on the Kane County website for public participation. Next, we opened communications through Kane County Connects. Now, we are working on listing all facility construction planning estimates before they commence.

4. Court Case Management System

Crucial research and planning were done on this originally-estimated $12 million project to streamline and automate our Kane County Courts. Selection decisions were made through collaborative efforts of our chief judge, state’s attorney, circuit clerk, public defender, sheriff, court services and many others led by our information technology department experts and a former chief judge.

5. “Big Projects” Progress

Shooting Range 
In addition to steady progress on Longmeadow Parkway and the Court Case Management System, work was completed on the sheriff’s qualifying range and coroner’s maintenance renovation.

6. Public Health Protection

Proactive management of tuberculosis, flu and potential Ebola virus, and food-borne illnesses minimized these threats to you and your family. The next stage of management progress was completed at Animal Control.

7. Seventeen (17) Units of Local Government Combined Efforts with County on Transportation

Intergovernmental cooperation among 17 township governments and the county resulted in uniform licensing of truck transportation. This joint effort saves employers and consumers money, fosters a healthier jobs environment, and was recognized by our surrounding six Northeastern Illinois counties as a model for regional cooperation and economic development.

8. Highway Salt Inventory Management and Lower Prices

Kane Snow Trucks, winter storm event 
Although it may seem like a relatively small item, 2014 highway salt supply management illustrated a big point about proper management of county resources and cost savings. Due to diligent attention to detail, accurate estimates, proper contract provisions and execution throughout the year, the Kane County Transportation Department avoided salt shortages during an especially long, cold winter and saved taxpayer money through adroit planning for both winters of 2014 and 2015.

9. Five-Year Planning Process Instituted

The longest journey begins with a single step. Kane County began its five-year planning process for operating and capital expenditures by county agencies coming in at or under budget. Expanding our planning horizon to five years, rather than one, will create opportunities to generate additional revenue, such as more interest earned on reserves.

10. Coordinated Planning and Conscientious Administration

Kane County is recognized as a leader in coordinated planning among the functions of transportation, public health and development. In addition, conscientious and empathetic administration of benefits by our Veterans Commission led to shorter turnaround times and more than $2 million in proper benefits being received by our citizens and neighbors who have served in U.S. Armed Forces.
Well, those are some of the highlights in retrospect for 2014. Next week, I’ll share thoughts on 2015 challenges.


Chris Lauzen
Kane County Board Chairman
Dec. 30, 2014 
Headline, Popular2014-2015 Tax Chart
12/30/2014 3:00 PM

Merry Christmas to all of you we serve! To give us such a season of joy, peace and hope, God must be a happy grandparent with a sense of mirth.

An extended family consists of people who are happy when you succeed and laugh when you joke. They’re sad when you’re hurting and try to help when they can. But most importantly, they do their best to keep you safe when you’re vulnerable … as all of us are when we face life’s challenges all year long.

Twelve hundred fifty county staff members are growing in our dedication and competence to being worthy members of your extended family.

Christmastime brings family and friends together for a moment to appreciate the love in our lives that we sometimes take for granted. For those of us who have comforted loved ones in final moments when they experience, as Charles Dickens described, “Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future,” their fervent wish was not to attend one more meeting, run one more errand, climb one more rung on the ladder … but rather, to tenderly hug a child just a bit longer, patiently listen to a story told with such pleasure for the umpteenth time, or to simply and sincerely say, “I love you!”

This year’s holiday season can be a time when we “ … write on our hearts that every day can be the best day of the year.”

Our Kane County wish and hope for you, your family and friends is for love, peace and happiness.

Very sincerely,

Chris Lauzen
Kane County Board Chairman
December 2014

Headline, PopularChristmas Baby
9/25/2014 2:00 PM

Clean Water for Kane Video

Check out Kane County’s new PSA on how to conserve water!

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7/2/2014 5:00 PM

Recycling Extravaganza Event

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6/6/2014 12:00 PM

2014 Kane Memorial Day Ceremony

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5/19/2014 5:00 PM

Chairman Lauzen's Metro West Speech

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5/12/2014 4:00 PM

Sheriff's Regional Training Center Groundbreaking

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5/8/2014 2:00 PM

Two Summer Mortgage Foreclosure Events

The Kane County Foreclosure Taskforce is pleased to announce that two Mortgage Relief Project events have been scheduled to take place in Kane County. The free events will be held from 9am to 1pm at Elgin Community College on June 14th and at Aurora’s Prisco Community Center on July 12th. Homeowners who attend will receive helpful advice about mortgage refinancing, foreclosure prevention, legal rights, credit counseling and avoiding scams. Additionally, HUD-certified counselors will be on hand to provide private, one-on-one counseling.

The Mortgage Relief Project is a state-wide program co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). It is designed to offer a one-stop shop where homeowners can access the resources of state agencies and nonprofit organizations that help Illinois residents stay in their homes.

Illinois’ Homeowner Protection Act requires all lenders and loan servicers to notify homeowners who are at least 30 days late on their mortgage payments that they have 30 days to seek housing counseling to get their loans back on track. If a homeowner enters housing counseling, they get an additional 30-day grace period on foreclosure in order to work out a payment plan or refinance option.

For more information or to receive immediate assistance in advance of the event, please call IDFPR's toll-free consumer hotline (800) 532-8785 during regular business hours or visit or

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5/5/2014 6:00 PM

Kane County Community Gardens Video

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2/24/2014 12:00 PM

John Carr Named January 2014 Illinois Veteran of the Month

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2/14/2014 1:00 PM

Kane Co​unty Electric Aggregation Referendum: “A Voluntary Program to Reduce Energy Costs”

Dear Unincorporated Kane County Resident:

During the last year the Kane County Board has made a​ concerted effort to reduce the “cost of living” for residents of our county. On March 18, 2014, residents will weigh in on a ballot question of whether or not to allow the County Board the ability to negotiate a completely voluntary energy savings program for those residents in unincorporated portions of the County. This initiative is completely voluntary, with those residents who oppose the program able to opt out if it were to pass against their wishes. This letter is intended solely to explain what the referendum means to you, and help you ultimately cast an educated vote on March 18th.

Presently, residential electric rates are either set by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) or an alternative electric supplier secured by you. The electrical rates can be “set” (for 12 month period) or “variable” depending on the contract terms. If permission is granted by voters, through referendum, the County could take the necessary steps so multiple electric suppliers can provide competitive rate quotes.

The County has been purchasing its power (for various County-owned buildings) from suppliers other than ComEd since 2006. These suppliers have been able to offer lower rates than those we would have received from ComEd. The 2014 electrical bidding process netted a potential electrical savings of over $193,000 from 2013 electrical costs for County taxpayers.

Since the State of Illinois deregulated ComEd, 17 municipalities, and 2 townships within Kane County have provided their residents the opportunity for cheaper electricity. 18 of these 19 local governments secured savings for their constituents.

Before the County can provide this choice for you, the residents of unincorporated Kane County have to approve a resolution on the March 18, 2014 ballot. If the “energy savings choice” referendum is authorized by the voters, under state statute, counties will be able to receive bids from suppliers on behalf of the unincorporated portions of the County. If the rates are lower than ComEd’s, the County can move all residential (and small commercial) accounts in the unincorporated portions of Kane County to the new supplier. Any individual household could opt out if they prefer.

However, the County is not obligated to switch suppliers. The referendum simply gives the County the right to solicit competitive bids. Once the bids are received, then the County Board will decide if it is in the best interest of the residents in unincorporated Kane County to move to the lower supplier. If not, all County unincorporated residents will remain with ComEd for the following 12 months.

There will be no change to your billing. ComEd will continue to send your monthly bill. They will still deliver the electricity and you will still call ComEd for service and outages. You will not be required to participate in the new program. Every unincorporated resident who does not already have an alternate supplier will receive a letter with the opportunity to “opt out” of the new program at no cost to you. If ComEd’s rate is less expensive than the lowest quoted electric supplier, ComEd will remain your electric supplier.

We value our residents and look forward to saving you money on the electricity you purchase. Please vote on March 18, 2014.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Mr. Kenneth N. Anderson, Jr., at 630-208-5118 or e-mail him at

Chairman signature 

To protect government independence and transparency no consultant or contractor has been hired to place this referendum on the March 18, 2014 election ballot.


Kane County has been saving money on our electrical costs on various buildings for nearly 7 years. We are buying the power on the open market and it is then delivered by ComEd. A few years ago, the Illinois General Assembly authorized local government to do the same bidding process on behalf of its residents and small businesses.

The County of Kane will be placing a Referendum on the March 18, 2014 ballot. If the majority of voters concur, then the County can seek lower electric rates for its residents in unincorporated areas.

Q: How can the County purchase power at a potentially lower cost?

Electric deregulation allows the County to shop for power and purchase in bulk for our unincorporated residences at a lower price.

Q: Who will take care of my power if there is an outage?

ComEd, by law, will still be paid to distribute the power to the homes and businesses and handle any emergency repairs.

Q: What if I don’t want to participate in the program?

Residents will have multiple opportunities to “Opt Out” of the program, which will be your right by law.

Q: What happens if the County cannot purchase or negotiate lower rates than ComEd?

Your account would stay at ComEd and ComEd would be both the power provider and the local distribution company. Either way, ComEd will be our distributor. By voting YES on the referendum, ComEd will then have to compete with power suppliers from throughout the Midwest to provide our power.

Q: Why is this opportunity available?

This is the last part of the Deregulation Process. Until this Act was amended, only larger customers such as industrial, commercial and government entities could participate. Seventy-five percent of these customers are currently purchasing their power from sources other than ComEd.

Q: Why is the County doing this?

In addition to freezing county property tax levies, during times of declining home values, we are trying to save you money by taking advantage of a law that allows our residents and small businesses to save money. To administer this program, the County may encourage a modest “civic contribution” as permitted under state statute.

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2/10/2014 1:00 PM

2014 Riverboat Fund Application Video

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1/27/2014 4:00 PM

Chairman Lauzen Meets with Congressman Hultgren

On January 23, 2014, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen and several of his leadership team, along with Congressman Randy Hultgren, 14th Congressional District, and his staff met in a warm and friendly setting in the Chairman’s office.

Active discussion centered around successes and issues that impact Kane County such as the Health Department receiving national accreditation, the Longmeadow Parkway, radon and lead testing and status of community reinvestment federal grants.

Chris sincerely complimented Randy for taking the generous initiative of introducing his entire staff from both Washington, D.C. and the district to the Kane County Team.

Group photo of Kane County and Congressman Hultgren's Staff
Chairman Lauzen and Congressman Hultgren Meet
1/21/2014 2:00 PM

New Registration Law: Voting at 17

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12/6/2013 1:00 PM

2014 Community Development Fund Application Video

2014 CDF Video
11/15/2013 5:00 PM

The Moving Wall Opening Ceremony

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11/15/2013 5:00 PM

Chairman Lauzen's Moving Wall Speech

Chairman Lauzen at Opening Ceremony
11/15/2013 3:00 PM

Where Do Taxpayer's Dollars Go?

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11/7/2013 2:00 PM

Family Reading Night with Kane Judges

Who? Judge Akemann, Judge Cruz and Judge Dalton would like to read their favorite bedtime stories to YOU! Event includes snacks and a courtroom tour. Don’t forget to bring your friends!

This event is for children in 2nd grade or younger. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Where? Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center on the second floor of the Kane County Judicial Center. Phone: 630.406.7126.

When? Wednesday November 20th, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Attire? Pajamas, of course!

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11/6/2013 5:00 PM

Anderson's Road Overpass Groundbreaking Ceremony

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10/31/2013 3:00 PM

Funding Junior Kane County Board

The Kane County Connected initiative is building a Junior Kane County Board (JKCB). Participants will learn about county government systems and structure, policy, procedure and public service. The program is scheduled to start on November 21st and the last meeting date will be April 24th, 2014. JKCB members will meet 6 times at the county board office, hold lessons and have mock board meetings.
The JKCB is a group of students who have the opportunity to practice -at a young age- American self-governance and Robert’s Rules of Order. In addition, the junior board will have a real (but donated) budget to use as they see fit in promoting Kane County as the premier place to live, work and invest. The funds raised for this project will be invested as determined by the Junior Kane County Board before their final meeting on April 24th.


To learn more on donating and this special project, please click here.

10/24/2013 4:00 PM

Kane County and Municipalities Benefit from $1.2 Million in Technical Assistance through Cooperative Efforts, including $400,000 Awarded for 2014

The Kane County and its municipalities have a long history of planning cooperation, historically bringing valuable planning resources and grants of all types. The most recent benefits will be realized in 2014, when 7 new planning projects and studies involving Kane County and seven municipalities will start up with assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The approved projects are considered to be significant because they help achieve one or more regional goals in CMAPs’ GO TO 2040 Plan as well as the Kane County 2040 Plan. This is the third year of CMAPs’ Local Technical Assistance Program.

The approved seven projects in this third round of awards represent a value of about $350,000-$400,000 to Kane County, according to estimates provided by CMAP. Since the first two years of the program, including ongoing projects, the value of the assistance provided to Kane County and municipalities is worth about $800,000, making the combine value of planning assistance about $1.2 million. “This assistance represents a substantial benefit to Kane County and its communities”, stated Kane County Board Chairman, Chris Lauzen, “being competitive to bring in outside planning resources reduces the burden on local taxpayers while ensuring that Kane County remains a great place to live, work and do business.”

Kane County’s vision, leadership and the award winning Kane County Planning Cooperative have been a large part of the success for gaining approval from CMAP for these projects. The Kane County Planning Cooperative is a collaborative effort between Kane County’s Health, Transportation and Development planning staff. One of the Cooperative’s fundamental goals is to help municipalities and other planning partners “fill in the gaps” in local planning resources by providing technical assistance. This is of particular importance in some of the county’s municipalities that have no, or overextended, planning staff.

Municipalities approved for LTA projects for 2014 include Algonquin, Carpentersville, Pingree Grove, South Elgin, Barrington Hills, Campton Hills, and Montgomery. Projects range from bike/pedestrian planning, sharing municipal services, to updates of zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans.

Kane County’s approved project will benefit CMAP, the region, and a Kane County municipality to be determined. Kane County will be sharing training they received in 2012 to undertake a recently completed Health Impact Assessment (HIA) studying the impacts of increasing local food production. An HIA is an emerging planning tool used to evaluate how a plan, program, or policy will affect the overall health of a population. A HIA is designed to inform policy makers before a plan, program, or policy is adopted.

Kane County Kane County will partner with CMAP to perform the HIA, while also training CMAP staff about the HIA process and providing an example of HIA for the region. The topic of study selected by the County and CMAP will be a municipal plan, program, or policy that directly implements CMAP's GO TO 2040 Plan and the Kane County 2040 Plan.

Municipalities in Kane County interested in having the HIA undertaken to benefit their community are encouraged to contact Mark VanKerkhoff, Director, Kane County Development & Community Services Department at (630) 232-3451 or at

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10/11/2013 4:00 PM

South St. Underpass Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

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10/1/2013 4:00 PM

Kane County Connected with Chairman Lauzen

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