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updated: 3/11/2014 5:36 AM

Lakemoor shifts misdemeanor cases to Lake County

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Speeders and others who want to contest misdemeanor charges lodged by Lakemoor authorities will have to take their fight to a different jurisdiction.

For the first time in 62 years, most traffic tickets and local code violations and the like will be heard in Lake County circuit court rather than McHenry County circuit court -- a nod to the soon-to-be permanent new home of village authorities.

Mayor Todd Weihofen recently contacted McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi to end a 62-year relationship, saying that since the village clerk will be in Lake County, that would be a "more appropriate venue" for village prosecutions.

The village in May 2012 moved from a former fire station on Route 120 across from Lily Lake in McHenry County to rented offices to the east at Route 120 and Darrell Road in Lake County. The former village hall was demolished last fall, and village officials since have purchased land a bit farther east on Route 120 in Lake County near the Pines of Lakemoor subdivision to build a municipal campus.

Those actions have been part of an effort during the past five years for the village to improve government efficiency and plan ahead, Weifhofen wrote in a letter to Bianchi.

"We've made arrangements. We've received approval from the chief judge in Lake County and the state's attorney's office," according to Village Administrator David Alarcon.

The village has ordered tickets with the updated address and a switch is expected in April. The village is in court twice a month and deals with a few hundred cases a year, Alarcon said.

Instead of going to a branch court in McHenry, the new venue is in Round Lake Beach. Felonies will still be prosecuted in the counties in which they happen.

"The other thing that has changed is all the village appointees and village trustees will file their statements of economic interest" with Lake County authorities, Alarcon said.

Village officials in December voted to buy 3.2 acres on Route 120 for $640,000 for the new administrative home. A public "visioning session" is planned to provide input on the proposed look and use of the new facility.

And on Thursday, the village board is scheduled to officially accept a new logo/slogan for advertising, marketing and promotional efforts as it deals with developers and others.

"We want them to know Lakemoor is not only a residential community," Alarcon said of the sleeker "corporate" image.

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