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Village Services FAQ

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FAQ Categories

Village Manager

Community Development

Finance

Fire

Police

Public Works

Water & Electric

Questions & Answers

Village Manager

Where can I obtain Village Council meeting agendas and minutes?

Council agendas and all supporting material are available at the Winnetka Public Library Reference Librarian’s Desk. Council agendas are also posted on the Village website.

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How do I apply for Village jobs?

Municipal employment opportunities are advertised in the Pioneer Press, other newspapers and on the Village's Job Opportunities page. Applications and resumes will not be considered or retained for positions not currently available. The Village of Winnetka is an equal opportunity employer.

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How do I register to vote?

You may register in person at the Village Clerk’s office on the second floor of the Village Hall, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to Noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you have an Illinois driver's license or state ID, you may also register online through the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Please visit the Voter Information page for further resources about registration opportunities and absentee voting.

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Do I need to register to vote if I only move within the Village?

Whether you are a new resident to our Village or you just have a new address within the Village, you must change your voter registration.

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Does the Village require business licenses?

Every Winnetka restaurant or business that wishes to serve or otherwise sell food and/or liquor must be registered and licensed by the Village. The Village also licenses home milk delivery, amusement devices, grocery stores, all food dealers, parades, fireworks and service stations. Contact the Village Manager's Office at 847-716-3541, or email kscanlan@winnetka.org, for applications and fee schedules.

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Does the Village issue licenses for home occupations?

The Village does not issue home business licenses.

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Who do I call with a complaint about my cable service?

Residents should contact Comcast's Customer Service directly at 866-594-1234 or www.comcast.com. Although the Village has limited authority regarding the operations of the cable companies, we do document problems or issues Winnetka residents may have with Comcast.  If you are unable to resolve your complaint or would like to document a comment, you can notify the Village directly via an online form.

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How do I contact my state legislators?

With redistricting complete in Illinois, Winnetka has been classified in the 9th Congressional District, the 18th State House District and the 9th State Senate District. Visit the Government Resources page for further contact information.

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How can I watch Village Council meetings?

Broadcasts of recent Village Council meetings are aired daily on Winnetka Cable Chanel 10 at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are also available for viewing through the Village website.

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What are the Manager's office hours?

The Manager's Office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - noon, and from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Community Development

Why do I need a permit?

To assure that building and site improvements are undertaken and completed in compliance with Village building codes, it is necessary to obtain building and other permits. Please contact the Community Development Department before undertaking any major work around your house. Permits are required to be posted in a conspicuous location that is visible from the street.

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How do I know if my business is permitted in the Village?

Call the Community Development Department at 847-716-3520. The Department is responsible for adminstering and implementing the Village's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Staff is also responsible for economic development related activities. You may also contact the Department to learn if you are zoned for a particular home business.

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Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy for my business?

A Certificate of Occupancy must be issued by the Community Development Director prior to the change of occupancy or of the tenant for any business use. To obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, the proposed business must be a use permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and all health and life-safety requirements of the Village must be met.

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Where do I go for business assistance?

Winnetka is a great place to operate your business! 

Winnetka boasts a large number of quality retail shops, restaurants and personal service businesses catering to local residents and those in surrounding North Shore communities.  In addition, the Village's three commercial districts feature a wide range of commerical office space.  If you're considering a new location for your business, let us show you what makes Winnetka special!

Winnetka's three (3) commercial business districts (Indian Hill, Elm Street, and Hubbard Woods) were first developed in the early 1920's around three commuter rail stations providing service to downtown Chicago.  METRA service together with two PACE bus lines providing unrivaled access for your customers and employees.  All of Winnetka's downtown areas are attractive and walkable, making them popular with residents, commuters and visitors.

Winnetka's downtown areas also feature wide range of residentail living options including numerous rental apartment developments and condominium developments.

The Village has appointed senior level staff to assist you with the process of either opening a new business, expanding an existing business, or assisting business owners with other concerns. Contact the Village's Assistant Director of Community Development, Brian Norkus by email or at (847) 716-3522.

The Village works closely with the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce, which is also a valuable source of assistance for both new and established businesses.  Contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.northfieldchamber.com or at (847) 441-4451.

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When is construction activity allowed?

It is unlawful for any person to permit or engage in any construction activity, or to operate or permit the operation of power equipment such as any pile driver, power shovel, pneumatic hammer or derrick, or to operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle in relation to any such activities at any location in the Village of Winnetka on Sundays and holidays, before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on Saturdays, or before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. on all other days.

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What are permissible construction site conditions?

Construction sites and adjacent public rights-of-way must be maintained in a safe and clean condition at all times. This includes sanitary facilities, parking and loading areas, fencing for security and tree protection, and proper storage and removal of debris. Contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3576, or email: mdonofrio@winnetka.org.

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Does the Village regulate hours for noisy landscaping work and/or leaf blowers?

No noisy landscaping activity is to begin before 7 a.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays and holidays. No such activity may continue after 7 p.m. on any evening. In Winnetka, it is illegal to operate gasoline powered leaf blowers at all times from June 1 to October 1. At other times of the year, they may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays. If you employ landscapers, please make sure that they are aware of Winnetka's leaf blower ordinance. Violators will be ticketed. Winnetka's leaf blower restrictions do not apply to golf course lawn upkeep activities, to employees of the Village working on road maintenance, or to electric leaf blowers plugged into normal electric outlets.

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How long will it take for me to get my permit?

The timeframe for processing a permit is dependent upon a number of factors, including the type of permit being applied for, completeness and accuracy of plans, revisions by the architect, and the time of year. Permit applications for fences, sheds, driveways, etc. should take no longer than 5 working days to process. Interior remodeling projects typically take 3-4 weeks for the initial plan review. New home construction or additions typically take 6-8 weeks for the initial plan review. Subsequent revision submittals are processed in the order in which they are received, and typically take an additional 2-3 weeks for review.

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What is the Certificate of Appropriateness of Design?

A Certificate of Appropriateness of Design must be issued prior to any external architectural feature changes, including awnings, storefronts, and certain signage for commercial, multi-family or institutional buildings. Single-family homes are NOT required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.

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How long is a building permit good for?

A building permit is valid for 15 months from the date of approval. The Village does allow for a permit to be extended for an additional 9 months from the expiration date provided that 50% of the original building permit fee is paid prior to the permit's expiration.

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How will I know when my building permit is approved?

A representative of the Community Development Department will call the homeowner and the contractor.

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What is required for home occupation?

Any business located in a residential zoning district must comply with the standards of the Winnetka Village Code. No commodity may be kept, displayed, sold, or offered for sale upon the premises; no person shall be employed on the premises other than a member of the immediate family residing on the premises; no mechanical equipment except that which is used for domestic purposes shall be in operation for the home business; zoning inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy are required. Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3522, with any questions, or email: bnorkus@winnetka.org.

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Do I need a permit for a dumpster?

A permit is necessary only if a dumpster is to be placed on the public street or parkway. No permit is required if a dumpster is placed on private property.

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What do I need in order to have a garage sale?

Permits are not needed for garage sales. The Winnetka Sign Ordinance prohibits the display of garage sale signs on premises other than those on which the sale is conducted. This restriction includes street light and utility poles, as well as public parkways. The code allows only one temporary sign for a garage sale. This sign cannot exceed 10 square feet in size and must be placed on the property where the sale is taking place. It is illegal to sell merchandise that was brought in from elsewhere and was not owned by the property owner prior to the sale.

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Do trampolines require a permit?

Residents who currently have permanent or temporary trampolines installed on their properties or plan to install this equipment should contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3576 for zoning information and a (fence) permit application.

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Do you have a copy of my property survey?

Over the years, the Village has retained property surveys submitted with building permit applications. It is best to check with us to see if we do have one; however, a property survey cannot be more than 5 years old when applying for a building permit.

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How should home address numbers be displayed?

Street numbers are assigned to lots and buildings by the Community Development Department. The assigned numbers should be clearly visible (contrasting color to background) and prominently displayed on the street side of residential buildings and on the street and rear (alley) side of commercial buildings. Numbers should be numeric (not script), no less than 4 inches in height (but no larger than 1 1/2 square feet in area) and conspicuously placed.

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How might a home receive landmark distinction?

The Village offers voluntary local designation for eligible historic structures. For more information or a list of current Winnetka Landmark properties, contact the Community Development Department.

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What is the Village's sign code?

Except for temporary real estate or contractor signs, commercial signs are not permitted in residential areas. No sign may be placed on the public right-of-way, which is generally the area between the curb and sidewalk. For commercial property signs, contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3576, or email: bnorkus@winnetka.org.

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What is the Village's zoning ordinance?

Call the Community Development Department with questions regarding the Zoning Ordinance. Copies of the Village Code and the Zoning Ordinance are available from Village Hall.

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What is the "retail overlay" district?

The C-2 Overlay Zoning District contains provisions designed to encourage a cluster of retail goods and services on the ground floor of commercial buildings within the District. Ultimately, this practice hopes to expose such shops to maximum foot traffic.

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What is the Village's Comprehensive Plan?

Winnetka 2020, a long-range comprehensive land use plan, is available online.

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Where can I obtain Village maps?

Through its involvement with the GIS Consortium, a website has been developed to assist residents in accessing information regarding their individual properties. Information such as zoning classification, property identification numbers, or even aerial photographs can be accessed at this site. You can access the information by clicking here. Street maps of Winnetka are available at the Public Works Department at 1390 Willow Road. Zoning ordinance books with zoning maps are available at the Cashier’s Counter at Village Hall.

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What are the Community Development Department's hours?

The Community Development Department is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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How do I dispose of construction debris?

Waste resulting from work done by contractors will not be picked up by the Village. Contractors must make their own arrangements for its removal.

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Finance

Where do I call with questions about utility service?

Questions about a high/low bill, change of address, meter reading, or starting a new service can be made directly to Utility Billing: 847-446-9550.

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How am I billed for Water, Sewer, and Electric service?

The Village issues a bill to most customers bi-monthly. The bill includes charges for water, electricity, sewer, and a second weekly refuse pick up (if the customer elects that optional service). There is also a monthly charge of $9.46 which partially pays for reading the meters, billing the account, and covering some of the Village’s fixed costs in providing service.

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Does the Village require dog licenses?

Village code requires that any dog over the age of six months living in Winnetka must have a Village license and that the appropriate tag be displayed on its collar or harness. Current registration tags must be displayed by January 1 of each year. The license fee for unspayed female dogs is $15; for all other dogs it is $10. A rabies vaccination certificate must be presented before a license can be issued.

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Does the Village require vehicle stickers?

The Village of Winnetka requires the purchase of an annual license for vehicles. Application forms for vehicles that were previously registered in Winnetka are mailed to residents in the fall of every year. New residents and residents who acquire new vehicles can obtain license application forms at Village Hall. Vehicle license stickers for the current year must be displayed by January 1.

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What is the Village of Winnetka's bond rating?

The Village has an Aaa bond rating from Moody's- the highest credit rating available.

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What is the difference between a budget and a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR)?

The annual budget explains the various Village department functions, revenues and expenditures, and fiscal policies used in managing the Village's resources. The CAFR is a snapshot of the Village's financial condition, based on an audit conducted at the close of each fiscal year by an independent auditor.

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Who do I call to get information on beach closings?

The Winnetka Park District, at 847-501-2040, can give you information about the beaches.

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Where do I get beach/dog passes?

The Winnetka Park District issues these passes. They are located at Elm and Hibbard Street and their phone number is 847-501-2040.

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What is the Sales Tax in Winnetka?

8.00%. Click here for help finding tax rates.

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Does Winnetka have a transfer tax?

No. Questions about property records should be directed to the New Trier Tax Assessor at 847-446-8200.

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How can my firm be placed on the Village's bidder list?

Contact the Village's Financial Services Coordinator, Nick Mostardo, at 847-716-3504.

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What are the Village Hall hours of operation?

Village Hall is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Fire

What should I (my family) do when our smoke alarms activate?

Waiting to decide what to do when your alarm activates is too late. Sound fire prevention activities include developing a family escape plan that includes two ways out and a family meeting place outside the home. Just having a plan is not enough in the event that disaster strikes. You must practice the plan so that it becomes second nature when the smoke alarm sounds!

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Can our battery-operated smoke alarms go bad and how do I dispose of our old detector?

Smoke alarms that are battery-operated should be changed and replaced with new smoke alarms every ten years. A chirping smoke alarm indicates that the battery is weak or failing and needs to be replaced immediately. Smoke alarms are an inexpensive yet important defense against smoke and fire for your family and your house. Do not wait until the alarm chirps to replace the battery.

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Does my landlord have to place and maintain a smoke alarm in my rental unit?

State law requires your landlord to provide a working smoke alarm in every residential unit, but it is your responsibility to maintain the battery. Replacing the battery once a year will insure a working smoke alarm.

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Are carbon monoxide detectors required my law?

CO detectors are required by State law to be installed within 15 feet of all sleeping areas.

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Where do I pay an ambulance bill?

Ambulance bill payments should be mailed to: Andres Medical Billing 3323 North Ridge Avenue Arlington Heights, IL. 60004

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Should I dial 911 even if I am not sure it is an emergency?

Yes, never hesitate to dial 911! We are here to serve and protect. Your fire department is composed of highly trained, professionals who can best determine the safest course of action.

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After I call 911, why is there a delay before the phone dials?

When dialing 911, a caller may become confused as to whether the system is working properly due to a 5 to 12 second silence that occurs just prior to the "ringing" signal. This silence is due to a component of the system called "call setup time," which is part of the 911 system. 911 is independent of the local telephone networks. This was done to prevent 911 calls from being blocked when the local network becomes overloaded. Callers are also routed to the 911 center that handles the emergency service agencies that provide the caller service.

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After I call 911, should I hang up?

No. Once the 911 Telecommunicator gathers the necessary information, wait until they tell you they are done before you hang up. They may need additional information or may direct you with first aid assistance via the telephone while the Fire Department responds.

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Why is there always a fire engine on an ambulance call?

A fire engine responds on every ambulance call for several reasons. First of all, the ambulance may not be the closest unit or maybe on another call and the engine is paramedic equipped to begin treatment while an ambulance is in route. Secondly, in order to perform the quality of service one would expect, a minimum crew of five firemedics are needed on each ambulance call, as there are many tasks to perform.

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Can your department transport a person in need to Northwestern or Children’s Memorial Hospitals?

No, the Winnetka Fire Department can only transport patients to hospitals within its district i.e. Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park, St. Francis, Rush North Shore, and Lutheran General. In an emergency, dial 911 and let the paramedics decide what is best for your transportation.

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What should be done with used diabetic needles and/or syringes?

Per Village code insulin syringes may be disposed of in the regular garbage as long as they are: dissembled (if possible) and sealed in a rigid leak resistant container that will not tear or burst under normal conditions of use or handling and is clearly marked with “DO NOT RECYCLE” written in capital letters in indelible ink on a water resistant label. The Fire Department also participates in the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County's (SWANCC) Residential Prescription Drug & Sharps Disposal Program. Sharps can be dropped off at the Fire Dept. Monday through Friday, 8:30 - 5:00 PM.

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How do I dispose of my unused prescription medications?

Home prescription medications may be dropped off at the Fire Department Monday through Friday from 8:30 - Noon and from 1 - 5 PM. Please note that the Fire Department cannot accept narcotics.

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What is EMD and does Winnetka utilize emergency medical dispatchers?

EMD stands for “Emergency Medical Dispatch” and Winnetka Dispatchers are EMD Trained. Emergency Medical Dispatch trained dispatchers are trained to give life saving instructions over the phone to assist you as the caller in caring for the patient until firemedics arrive. The Winnetka Fire Department contracts with RED Center (Regional Emergency Dispatch) for dispatch services.

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What should I do when I see lights/sirens approaching?

We all share the responsibility of knowing and practicing proper driving behaviors. One of the most important "rules of the road" deals with yielding the right of way to emergency vehicles. Remain calm and move your vehicle appropriately. You can't go wrong by pulling to the right and coming to a stop. That's the general rule in all cases. When you are in the right lane, pull onto the right shoulder if there is room and stop or at least slow way down if you are on an open high-speed road.

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Are open fires permitted in Winnetka?

Open fires are not permitted in Winnetka. Call 847-501-6034 to report a violation. If the fire is creating a hazardous situation, call 911.

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Is a DNR the same as a medical power of attorney? Are there standard forms necessary for a valid DNR?

A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order) is not the same thing as a durable power of attorney for medical decisions. A DNR is a standardized State of Illinois form that is signed by the patient, the patient's doctor and two witnesses, which states that the patient “Does not authorize cardiopulmonary resuscitation” if their breathing or heart stops. A DNR is not part of a normal last will as is a durable power of attorney, and a DNR is only issued by a physician to a patient who has a terminal illness and has no chance for recovery.

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Are home fire sprinklers expensive?

No – Current estimates suggest “on average” a home fire sprinkler system add only 1% to 1.5% of the total building cost in new construction.

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How much will I save on my homeowner’s insurance policy if my house has residential sprinklers?

Insurance costs will vary depending on the type of coverage. The discounts for residential sprinklers now range between 5-15%, with a projected increase in available discounts

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Does the Fire Department offer blood pressure screenings?

A blood pressure reading provides an important and quick summary of an individual’s cardiovascular health status. Trained EMS personnel are available to take blood pressure readings at the Winnetka Fire Department (428 Green Bay Road) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon and 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge for this service.

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How can I learn to perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?

Early administration of CPR to cardiac arrest victims increases their chances for survival. The Winnetka Fire Department conducts CPR recognition and re-recognition classes quarterly. These classes are available to Winnetka residents for a nominal fee. For a fee, classes may also be scheduled for special groups.

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Does the Department perform Fire Hydrant flow testing?

Each year the Winnetka Fire Department performs maintenance inspections and fire flow tests on more than 600 fire hydrants in the Village. Flow testing of fire hydrants aids the Fire and Water departments in determining the water system capacities and is used in pre-planning for emergencies.

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How are fire hydrants maintained?

Help the fire department help you! You can help ensure that fire hydrants are easily accessible if there is a fire in your neighborhood. It’s important to keep hydrants clear of all obstructions. Hedge rows, trees, bushes and fences located close to a hydrant can considerably slow or prevent fire vehicles from obtaining water. Please notify the Winnetka Fire Department at 847-501-6029 if you notice a problem with a hydrant.

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Does the Department conduct Fire Station tours?

Educational tours of the Winnetka Fire Station are available for scout organizations, school and pre-school groups, birthday parties and other activities and interests. Tours are conducted on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. To schedule a tour, call 847-501-6029.

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Does the Department perform home fire safety surveys?

Home fire safety surveys will be performed by Fire Department personnel who will identify potential fire hazards in the home and provide advice concerning general fire safety practices. To schedule an appointment for a free home safety survey, call the Winnetka Fire Department at 847-501-6029, or email: jripka@winnetka.org.

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Police

How can I appeal a parking ticket?

If you feel a parking ticket you received was issued in error you may fill out an Appeal Form and return it within 21 days if the issuance of the citation. The Administrative Hearing Officer will review the citation and determine if it was indeed issued in error. If so, the citation will be voided and you will be notified by mail. If the Hearing Officer determines that the citation was issued properly it will be returned to you and the due date extended to allow payment or court appeal. There is a $40 Administrative Hearing fee for citations upheld by the Hearing Officer. You may choose to appear in person at the hearing, be sure to mark that option on the form.

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Should bicycles be registered with the Police Department?

Residents are encouraged to register their bicycles with the Winnetka Police Department for easy identification in the event they are lost or stolen. Bicycles can be registered at the Police Station ( 410 Green Bay Road ) or by completing and submitting to the department, the application form that is available on line. If submitting a registration application by mail we will return your registration sticker by mail. There is no charge for bicycle registration.

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What are the Village's regulations related to dogs?

Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. When dogs are not on their own property, owners must insure that their pets are under immediate control by means of a leash, cord, chain or like device, and that the dog does not commit an act that is declared by Village ordinance to be a public nuisance. It is unlawful to permit a dog to run loose or trespass on private property. By law, owners must clean up after their dogs if they defecate on other than their own property. In Winnetka, dogs are not allowed in Village parks or on most beaches. They are allowed on Centennial beach, but only with the appropriate pass. Call the Winnetka Park District at 847-501-2040 for more information. Village ordinance limits the number of dogs kept in a household to three.

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Is overnight parking prohibited?

Parking is prohibited on all Winnetka streets between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. When temporary, extraordinary circumstances require that a vehicle be left on the street overnight, please call the Police Department at 847-501-6034 to request special parking consideration or email: police@winnetka.org.

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Does the Village issue parking passes for commuters?

The Village designates parking areas around the three train stations (Indian Hill, Elm Street, and Hubbard Woods) for commuter parking. Commuter cars must display daily or six-month passes to park in these lots. Passes may be purchased at Village Hall. In some areas, a valid Village sticker must be displayed in addition to a daily or six-month commuter pass. It is best to always read signs carefully before parking a vehicle.

No permit is required for use of Village permit lots overnight or on weekends. Most lots however are restricted to either odd or even days when 3 inches of snow has fallen. Signs are posted in the lots affected.

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What is the Village's parking policy for snow emergencies?

A snow removal emergency exists whenever two or more inches of snow falls within a 24-hour period or when two or more inches of snow remains on any roadway in the Village. Winnetka's snow ordinance prohibits parking of vehicles on any Village street during a snow emergency. Cars parked in a manner that obstructs the clearance of snow during an emergency may be towed.

Village parking lots in the business areas are posted as No Parking on either Odd or Even days after 3 inches of snow. There is no parking in these lots from Midnight to 6:00 AM on either odd or even days as posted.

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Are solicitors permitted in Winnetka?

Residents and businesses may display "No Solicitors or Peddlers" signs on their property. Solicitors not heeding the signs are subject to arrest. Every solicitor is required to carry a permit issued by the Village. Concerns about solicitors should be reported to the Police Department by calling 847-501-6034. Winnetka residents who do not wish to have solicitors visit them can request to have their homes included in a register maintained by the Police Department. There is no charge for this service.

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What is the curfew for juveniles?

The State Statutory curfew for young people under the age of 17 is 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday year around. The driver's license of a 16-year-old becomes invalid if he or she is driving in violation of Illinois curfew law. Graduated driver's licenses for young people create other restrictions.

Please see the State website for more details.

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Where can motorized scooters be operated?

The operation of motor driven scooters and other "mini motorcycles" or mini bikes on anything other than private property is prohibited by the Illinois Vehicle Code. Additionally, the Cook County Board has enacted an ordinance banning motor driven scooters in Cook County.

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Where is skateboarding prohibited?

Skateboarding is prohibited on roadways, sidewalks or parkways in the following Winnetka locations: Elm Street from Birch to Arbor Vitae Road; Chestnut Street from Chestnut Court to Spruce Street; Lincoln Avenue from Oak to Pine Street; Around the war memorial monument at the Village Green.

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Can I use Pellet, Paintball, Air-soft, CO2 or BB guns in Winnetka?

The use of BB guns on private property is allowed when properly supervised and used with appropriate safety precautions.  The use of Pellet, Paintball and Airsoft weapons is prohibited.  More information can be found at Winnetka Village Code Section 9.12 and 720 ILCS 5/24.8.

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Is it possible to schedule a tour of the Police Station?

Tours of the Winnetka Police Station can be arranged for youth and school groups by calling 847-501-6034. Due to operations needs, tours for parties and other private functions cannot be accommodated.

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Who is responsible for minors who consume alcohol?

Homeowners are responsible for insuring that no minors consume alcoholic beverages on their premises. This responsibility exists even when homeowners are not personally present. Call the Winnetka Police Department at 847-501-6034 for more information. Email: sbarefield@winnetka.org.

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Who do I contact for information about hosting a block party?

If you wish to hold a block party that will block off a public street, you must obtain permission from the Village. Call 847-716-3541, or email: kscanlan@winnetka.org. When possible, the Fire and Police Departments will try to visit your block party. Call the Fire Department at 847-501-6029, or the Police Department at 847-501-6034, to make arrangements.

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What can I do to ensure that my home/business is secure?

Contact the Winnetka Police Department's Investigations Unit at 847-501-6034 and request a security survey of your residence or business. There is no charge for this service.

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Does the Police Department offer a House Watch service?

When making vacation plans, and whenever a house will be unoccupied for a period of time, residents are urged to contact the Winnetka Police Department to request that their home be placed on its "House Watch List." Call 847-501-6034, or email: police@winnetka.org.

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Are Neighborhood Watch programs active in the Village?

The Police Department encourages residents to form Neighborhood Watch groups. Contact the Winnetka Police Department for information about starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your area. Call 847-501-6034, or email: police@winnetka.org.

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How do I apply for a handicapped parking card (accessible parking)?

Any motor vehicle being used to transport a person who is disabled that displays a handicapped parking card (issued either in Illinois or in another state) may use parking areas designated for disabled individuals. Drivers of these vehicles are exempt from ordinances imposing limitations on parking. However, handicapped license plates and cards do not permit parking in areas where parking is prohibited. The Secretary of State's Office issues handicapped license plates and temporary or permanent handicapped parking cards. Applications can be obtained by calling the New Trier Township Office at 847-446-8202. Motor vehicles parked in handicapped parking areas without handicapped identification may be subject to $250 fines.

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Is there a registry for memory impaired citizens?

Families with loved ones who may walk away or otherwise become missing and are unable to provide identifying information (e.g. persons with Alzheimer's, Down's syndrome, stroke victims), can register with the Winnetka Police Department so that the individual’s speedy and trauma-free return home can be accomplished in the event that he or she requires assistance. For more information call 847-501-6034, or email: police@winnetka.org.

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What are the Village's services for individuals with special needs?

The Winnetka Police Department maintains a Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) that can be accessed 24-hours a day by calling 847-501-6041. Requests for any Village service can be directed to the TDD; however, the device recognizes only TDD transmissions and will not respond to audio (voice) contact. The Winnetka Fire Department will assist special-needs citizens with the installation of smoke detectors. Call 847-501-6029 for more information. The Village Water and Electric Department will attempt to keep power outages to a minimum and will give priority to restoring service to homes where life support equipment is in use. Call the Water and Electric Department at 847-716-3558, to let them know if someone in your home uses this equipment. The Winnetka Village Hall, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works Yards buildings are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

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Does the Village provide social services?

The Winnetka Police Department contracts with New Trier Township for a full-time Social Worker to provide short-term counseling services to individuals, groups and families, as well as crisis intervention, resource and referral information and community education to Winnetka residents of all ages. Services are provided without charge. Call 847-501-6034 for more information or email: police@winnetka.org.

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Are taxi cabs required to be licensed in the Village?

To solicit fares in Winnetka, taxi drivers must be licensed by the Village and their cabs must pass inspection by the Winnetka Police Department.

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What about the wildlife in Winnetka?

Wild animals are considered to be indigenous to our area and generally are beyond the responsibility of the Village animal control program. However, the Winnetka Police Department will provide assistance on those occasions when wild animals enter the living space of a residence and pose a threat to persons. Wild animals in eaves, walls, under decks, in garages, etc. are not considered to be a threat and, according to Village policy, cannot be handled by the Police.

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How does the Village regulate firearms?

Firearms dealers are prohibited. No person shall engage in the business of a firearm dealer in the Village, including exchange, loan, rental or other transfer for consideration of a firearm or ammunition.

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How do I subscribe to CodeRed automated notification service?

The Village subscribes to the "CodeRed" automated emergency notification service. This allows residents to be notified in the event of an emergency, such as hazardous materials leaks, missing persons, water outages or boil orders and other important messages. To ensure that your phone numbers are called in an emergency please go to the below link and enter them. While we probably already have your home phone numbers in the emergency database, we probably do not have your cell phone.

Please rest assured that this database is only used by the Village for this emergency notification system and will not be shared elsewhere. Click here to enroll.

 

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Public Works

What are the Village's refuse collection policies?

The Village will empty two 37-gallon garbage cans of trash from each single-family household once per week at the back door if available and accessible by 7:00 a.m. All receptacles shall not weigh more than 20-lbs. empty, and not more than 60-lbs. when full. On collection days, garbage cans are to be located in an accessible place outside of garages or other secured enclosures. A Village refuse sticker is required to be adhered to each additional 37-gallon can or bag. Refuse stickers, yard waste bags and recycling containers may be purchased at Grand Foods and Lakeside Foods.

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What should I do if my refuse, recycling or yard waste was not picked-up on the scheduled day?

Contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to report a missed collection. If you get a recording, please be sure to leave your name and address, as well as a phone number where you can be reached.

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How do I get replacement refuse cans or recycling containers?

The Village will empty two garbage cans no larger than 37-gallons back-door once a week. Cans can be purchased at home improvements stores and the Village prefers them to be galvanized. Residents can purchase as many recycling containers as need at the Village Hall and Public Works will deliver them to the home. Call Public Works at 847-716-3568 for more information.

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Where can I purchase refuse stickers and yard waste bags?

Stickers and bags are available for sale at Grand Foods (606 Green Bay Road) and Lakeside Foods (800 Elm Street) during the stores' normal business hours.

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Will the Village perform special refuse pick-ups?

For large objects or quantities not practical for regular refuse pickup, a special pickup may be requested. Special pickups are billed by volume and must consist of general household items that are small and light enough to be handled by two persons without danger of injury. You will be charged $30 for the first cubic yard and $11 for each additional cubic yard. (A cubic yard is 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet.) Major appliances and large heavy furnishings may also be collected, but a special handling charge will be assessed to cover costs and disposal. Call 847-716-3568, two to three working days before the desired collection date to schedule a special pickup, or email: ebraun@winnetka.org.

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How is yard waste collected (lawn clippings, brush, branches, etc.) collected?

Illinois law prohibits disposing of yard waste with regular household refuse. Yard waste (lawn clippings, brush, branches, etc.) will be picked up at the curb; however, additional collection procedures and charges apply to this type of refuse. Village Yard Waste Bags must be used for clippings and other similar landscaping refuse.

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What do I need to know about recycling in the Village?

Recyclables will be picked up at the curb the same day that refuse is collected. Recycling containers are available for purchase at Village Hall, 510 Green Bay Road. Please do not place recycling containers at the curb until dusk the evening prior to your collection day. However, all containers must be out and ready for collection by 7:00AM on the scheduled pickup day. Residents are not charged for recyclables. Recyclables may be commingled in one cart. Paper products should not be bundled or tied. Containers should be rinsed. Recycling is provided free of charge to any Winnetka business that uses the Village’s refuse services.

For more information on recycling in Winnetka, please visit the Public Works Department’s Refuse and Recycling Page.

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How do I dispose of construction debris?

Waste resulting from work done by contractors will not be picked up by the Village. Contractors must make their own arrangements for its removal.

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How do I dispose of paint and paint cans?

Oil based paint, stains, or finishes are considered a household chemical waste and are properly disposed via household chemical waste collections sponsored by SWANCC and the IEPA and available to all Illinois residents. Latex paint is non-toxic and will not be accepted at Household Chemical Waste collections. Let the paint dry out completely. After the paint has dried, dispose of it in your regular trash with the lid off so the waste hauler knows the can is empty.

A paint can which previously contained oil-based or latex based paint may be disposed of in the regular trash. If the paint can is of an acceptable recyclable material such as steel, tin, or a plastic container stamped recyclable 1 - 5, the can may be recycled in the community’s recycling program.

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How do I dispose of residential electronics?

Residential electronics may not be disposed through the backdoor residential waste program. To schedule curbside electronics pickup for a fee, contact PW or take advantage of the option to drop off items free of charge at the Winnetka Public Works Yards - 1390 Willow - Thursdays between 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Residents may also drop off electronic waste at the SWANCC Transfer Station, 1151 North River Road in Glenview, most Saturdays from 9:00 -11:00 am.

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How do I dispose of regular household batteries?

The Village provides a recycling drop-off service at the Municipal Yards Building, 1390 Willow, for all types of household batteries. Lithium, NiMh and NiCad rechargeable batteries must have masking tape on contact points or be placed in individual zip-lock plastic bags.

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How do I dispose of household hazardous waste?

Fuels, oil-based paints, insecticides, etc. cannot be placed in your trash cans and will not be picked up. The Illinois EPA and other agencies sponsor occasional special household hazardous waste pickups. These pickups are advertised in the Winnetka Report and the Village newsletter. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - Household Chemical Waste web page includes information concerning collections and a complete schedule of upcoming collection events.

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How should I dispose of my holiday lights?

Year round, all types of holiday string-type lights will be accepted at the drop-off location at Public Works, 1390 Willow Road during regular business hours. Accepted for recycling will be: Mini-lights (or Italian lights), C7 lights, C9 lights, rope lights, LED lights, extension cords, etc. All colors and lengths will be accepted. The Village cannot accept garland, live greens, wreathes, or other non-recyclables.

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Does the Village perform Christmas tree pick-up?

Christmas trees will be picked up from the curbside for shredding, chipping, and composting annually on first through the third week in January. After the third Wednesday, a $2 refuse sticker will be required to ensure pickup.

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Does the Village offer compost?

When available, compost can be picked up at no charge at the Winnetka Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow Road, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring your own shovel and container.

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What are the Village's digging policies?

Call JULIE (Joint Utility Location Information for Excavators) at least 48 hours prior to undertaking any digging activity on your property or the public parkway. JULIE provides a toll-free number (811) through which underground utilities in the vicinity of digging activity can be located.

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What do I do if I have sewer problems?

Before contacting a plumber about a backup, call the Village Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to determine if the problem is the responsibility of the Village or the homeowner. If the problem occurs after-hours, call 847-501-2531.

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Where should I report drainage complaints?

Drainage problems and concerns can be discussed with the Public Works Department. Village field inspectors may recommend corrective work; however, the responsibility for solving private drainage problems normally rests with the homeowner. Questions should be directed to 847-716-3530, or email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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Do I need a permit to have work performed on a drainage swale?

Residential drainage swales cannot be altered without first obtaining the required permits from the Public Works Department. Call 847-716-3530, or email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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How should Village parkways be maintained?

Property owners are responsible for routine maintenance of the public parkways (generally the area between the curb and the sidewalk) adjacent to their properties. This includes mowing, trimming weeds, etc. In addition, tree limbs and bushes on or adjacent to parkway areas should be kept trimmed so that they do not block visibility or encroach upon sidewalks. It is illegal to attach address signs, ropes, swings, wire, hanging baskets, flags, signs, bird houses, outdoor lighting or any other device to parkway trees. Also, the Village requires that a permit be obtained in order to plant material other than grass and Village-approved tree species within parkway areas. For more information call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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When are sidewalks replaced and what if there are trip hazards?

The Village makes annual repairs to its sidewalks at no cost to the abutting property owner. Sidewalk safety hazards should be reported to the Public Works Department at 847-716-3530, email: mvakil@winnetka.org.

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Who do I call to report a pothole?

Call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 and leave a message. Please be sure to give the street address nearest to the pothole location. The Department will add it to the list of scheduled patches.

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Is tree planting permitted on the parkway?

The Village of Winnetka plants 2 1/2-inch-trunk-diameter trees on parkways at no cost to residents. Also offered is a "share the cost" arrangement for planting larger trees on parkways. For tree species descriptions and availability call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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Do I need a permit to remove a tree on private property?

The Village of Winnetka requires a removal permit for any private property tree measuring 8 inches or more in trunk diameter (measured at 4.5 feet from ground level). Removal applications are available at Village Hall, 510 Green Bay, or the Public Works Yards, 1390 Willow. To obtain a tree removal permit, click here. The Village will determine if tree replacement is required by inspecting each requested removal. For more information, call 847-716-3535, or email: jstier@winnetka.org.

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What are the Village's regulations related to grass and weeds?

All grass and weeds must be mowed by property owners or those responsible for property maintenance before the growth reaches 8 inches. Contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568, for more information, or email: ebraun@winnetka.org.

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Who should I contact with questions about traffic?

If you have a question about traffic flow, signage, traffic signals or related issues call 847-716-3532, or email: schen@winnetka.org.

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Who do I call for a mosquito problem?

You should call the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at 847-446-9434.

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When does the Village’s Annual Leaf Collection begin?

The Village's annual leaf collection normally begins in October and runs through November.

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How often are the pick-ups for the Annual Leaf Collection?

The time needed for the Public Works staff to complete one round of leaf pick-up varies; however, the Village aims to complete 6 to 8 rounds during the length of the program.

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What happens if I forget to place my leaves on the parkway and the Public Works Crews have already passed?

Due to the high demand for leaf collection and the limited time to collect the leaves, the Public Works Department will not be accepting any callbacks. Residents can keep the leaves in the parkway until Public Works Crews return, but once the program has ended, leaves must be placed in yardwaste bags, which may be purchased at Grand Foods or Lakeside Foods for $2.00.

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How is the Snow Plow and Ice Control Plan Implemented?

Plowing activities begin with snow accumulations of about 2 inches on sidewalks and streets. Main roads (Hibbard Road, Green Bay Road, etc.) receive first priority, followed by minor streets/sidewalks, and finally, cul-de-sacs and alleys.

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Can you send a snowplow back to clear the end of a driveway?

There are approximately 4,000 driveways in the Village. Unfortunately, we are not able to compromise our priority on public safety by devoting resources to clearing driveways.

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What is Spring Cleanup?

The Annual Spring Cleanup Program is a free service to residents provided by the Public Works Department-- allowing residents to clean out their attics, basements, garages, etc. of unwanted items.

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What items are not collected as part of the Spring Cleanup program?

Do not place the following items out for collection:

  • electronics
  • tires
  • yard waste, dirt, stones and logs
  • construction material
  • paint, paint thinner or stains
  • chemicals, gasoline, oil, pesticides or herbicides
  • propane tanks
  • other liquids or hazardous materials

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What if I place my Spring Cleanup at the curb after the crews have passed?

Due to a high demand and limited time the Public Works Department will not respond to callbacks. Residents can call the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568 to request a special pick up.

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How do I dispose of Styrofoam, small hand-held electronics, athletic shoes, thermometers, and CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs?

The Village provides a recycling drop-off servicfe at the Municipal Yards Building, located at 1390 Willow Road, for all of these items, during regular business hours.

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Water & Electric

What are cross connection control/backflow preventers?

These devices are required to prevent potential contamination sources from entering the potable (drinking) water distribution system. The Village is required to send Cross Connection Surveys to Winnetka residential and commercial water customers. The survey is part of the Village’s cross connection program which is an IEPA requirement. The State of Illinois regulations prohibit cross connections of any kind and require the Village, as a public water system operator, to maintain an active program to identify and eliminate cross connection hazards. This is one of several tools intended to protect water consumers in the state. Cross connection control devices are also called backflow preventers, reduced pressure zone devices or RPZ’s.

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How do I apply for water and/or electric service?

Contact the Finance Department at 847-446-9550 for an application for service. The Village must verify your identity in order to provide service, so you will be asked to show a government-issued photo I.D. in order to establish service. The Village will accept a photocopy of your out-of-state photo ID if you are new to Illinois.

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Where should I report electric service problems?

Calls regarding electric service problems should be made to 847-501-2531. This number is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by employees who are familiar with the operation of the Village electric utility. In case of severe weather, your call may not be answered immediately. Please keep trying. Your call is important to the Winnetka Water and Electric Department. When calling to report a problem with electric service, residents should be prepared to describe what is occurring. Is there power? Do some lights work but not others? Are lights flickering? Is a wire down? Has a tree or tree limb fallen? Was a loud sound, like that made by a shotgun, heard?

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Who can answer a question about my bill?

Call utility billing at 847-446-9550.

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How do I discontinue my water and electric service?

Call utility billing at 847-446-9550. We must physically read the actual meter, before service can be discontinued. You will need to make arrangements for the meter reader to obtain the final readings.

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Who do I call to report a problem with a street light being out or turning on and off?

Call the Water and Electric Department at 847-716-3558. If it is after hours, you can leave the information on voice mail. You can also submit a repair request by email to bkeys@winnetka.org.

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Who do I call to report a problem with a traffic signal?

The Water & Electric Department emergency line is 847-501-2531. This number is staffed at all times.

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What are the Village's lawn sprinkling restrictions?

In compliance with regulations established by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for allocation of Lake Michigan water, the Village was required to adopt water conservation measures. From May 15 to September 15, residents may water their lawns between the hours of 5 and 11 a.m. and 5 and 11 p.m. Subject to the prior approval of the Water & Electric Department Director, a one day exception to the above sprinkling restrictions may be granted for the annual activation or repair of a sprinkler system. Similarly, a two-week exception may be granted for newly sodded or seeded lawns. Call 847-716-3558 for more information, or email: bkeys@winnetka.org.

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Can electric or water meters be removed by a homeowner?

Residents are cautioned never to remove a water or electric meter or to allow a contractor to do so. Meters are sealed to prevent tampering. To keep costs to residents as low as possible, theft of service will be prosecuted. For more information call 847-716-3558, or email: rciesla@winnetka.org.

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What are the Village's water conservation methods?

Low flow water devices are required and certain uses of water are prohibited.

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What is the source of the Village's water supply?

Winnetka receives its potable water from Lake Michigan. For additional information or tours of the Water Plant, call 847-716-3644, or email: bcurley@winnetka.org.

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How does the Village report its water quality?

The Village publishes an annual water quality report every July in the Winnetka Report (the Village's print newsletter). In addition, the report is available through the website.

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What do I do about solicitations to switch energy providers?

Some residents report receiving phone calls or door hangers from Spark Energy and Constellation Energy to switch energy providers. The Village of Winnetka owns and operates its own municipal electric system; therefore, Spark Energy and Constellation Energy cannot provide electric service to Village residents or businesses.

Investor-owned utilities such as ComEd are required to allow third party suppliers to offer their services to residential customers within their service territory. If you have additional questions, please contact the Water & Electric Department at 847-716-3558.

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