Vernon Hills Public Works Department Open House took place this year from 4–7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.15.
Vernon Hills has a population near 26,000 residents. Holding the public works open house on a weekday evening worked well for the city, and a wide variety of groups — beyond the public works department — participated:
- Lake County Public Works (which provides water and sanitary service for Vernon Hills)
- Clarke Mosquito
- Vernon Hills Park District
- Commonwealth Edison
- Summer Celebrations Committee
- Solid Waste Agency of Lake County
- Advanced Disposal (waste and recycling)
- Lake County Stormwater Management Agency
Vernon Hills’ open house has been done every two years This year there were a combination of education and recreational events that included the Clarke Mosquito helicopter; sandboxes; faceless cut-outs for picture taking; sweeper and backhoe rides and demonstrations; pipe televising truck operations; a faux fire hydrant that recirculates water; forestry rope and climbing station; raffles; fleet operations; snowplow painting; chipper truck and stump grinder operations; and engineering and capital improvement displays, which involved poster boards of different projects and activities around the village like road resurfacing, stream bank stabilization and more.
David Brown, director of public works and village engineer, said, “The highlight for me is always the smiles and excitement from the kids. Prior to my first year’s event, I focused on other projects that an open house prevents us from completing. This changed immediately upon the start of the event. It is very contagious to see families enjoying themselves. It showcases our department and operations on a personal level.”
The only thing Brown said he would change would be to hold the event every year instead of every other year.
“The open house has become a staple for the community. Parents were able to reflect on the ages of their kids since their first event. A 12-year-old boy has been attending since he was 2. He is homeschooled, and his mother asked if he could volunteer as training for a future profession.” Brown hoped that after a few more open houses, this might occur.