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Fall

It is leaf season! And, while they’re beautiful, they can be a hazard when it comes to storm drains. City and county crews work to keep storm drains clear, but with thousands of drains across the state, they need your help.

You can reduce street flooding by keeping storm drain grates clear of leaves and debris. Here’s how:

  • Take a look at the storm drain grates in front of your home or business before and right after a rain or snow storm. Check to make sure they are free of leaves and debris.
  • Use a rake or pitch fork to clear leaves and debris from the storm drain. Please use caution! Do not put your feet or hands into the storm drain because dangerous debris could collect there. Do not try to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate. Dispose of leaves in your yard waste container or compost bin.
  • When leaves fall into the street, rake them one foot away from the curb so they won’t block the path of rain water.
  • If you can’t clean a clogged storm drain yourself, notify your the City's Municipal Services department at 630-353-8105 and let them know that help is needed.

Wondering what to do with all your extra leaves? Here are some options:

  • Rake leaves into short piles and go over them with your mower. Once shredded, they make great mulch for your garden beds!
  • With the City's new refuse and recycling contract with LRS, leaves are collected as part of your ward waste collection, which runs through 2nd full week of December. For more information visit LRSrecycles.com or contact LRS at 844-633-3577.

Please be aware that raking leaves into the street is a violation of city code and subject to a fine. If you see someone placing leaves in the street call 911 so the city can respond appropriately.

Officials are warning of the danger of the "One Chip Challenge," a trending social media challenge that can be very dangerous, especially for children.

The “One Chip Challenge” is packaged and sold at many retailers and contains one tortilla chip with a variety of extreme spices and challenges individuals to eat the chip and see how long they can last without eating or drinking anything.  According to Poison Control, consuming this chip can result in severe pain, irritation and burning in the mouth and throat, as well as, severe stomach and intestinal discomfort and vomiting. Learn more.

DuPage County has a number of programs with the goal of diverting more waste from landfills. Today, we are focusing on acceptable items for recycling. Illinois residents are throwing items in their recycling bins that don’t belong. Always remember to keep recyclables loose and leave the plastic bags out! Recyclables must be empty, clean, and dry - do not place dirty items in the recycling container. 

Learn more about what DOES and DOESN'T belong in your recycling bin.

Leaves will soon cover the ground instead of the trees, but there are options when deciding what to do with all those fallen leaves. Before you bag them up, think about using them as mulch for the cold months ahead, protecting your garden and feeding your soil.

To use your leaves as mulch, first rake them into short piles and go over them with your lawn mower to shred them. Spread these shredded leaves around your plants as you usually would with mulch. If you have extra leaves, you can add them to your compost.

In a change from previous years, we no longer have a dedicated leaf collection program. With the City's new refuse and recycling contract with LRS, leaves will be collected as part of your ward waste collection, which runs through 2nd full week of December. For more information visit LRSrecycles.com/Darien or contact LRS at 844-633-3577.

Fall decorations may be creeping into the aisles of our favorite stores, but it is still Summer in Darien and August temperatures will remain high. During these warm months, it is important to be vigilant about keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. Did you know that on an 80 degree day, the temperature inside of your car can rise quickly and become deadly to children, pets, or others still inside the vehicle. Follow these tips to keep everyone safe:
  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the carseat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make "look before you leave" a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • If you see a child or pet unattended in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1.
Let’s finish up this summer safely! Find more tips here.
Winter

Be sure to take steps to winterize your home before the temperatures drop lower! Keep your home comfortable and safe, while preventing expensive repairs with these tips:

  • Install & test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Insulate exposed pipes
  • Clean out your home’s gutters
  • Caulk and weather strip doors and windows
  • Inspect your chimney
  • Gather supplies in case of severe winter weather
Learn more

With the holiday season in full swing, the Darien Police Department is sharing some tips so you can avoid getting scammed during the holiday season. Scammers see this time of year as the perfect time to take advantage of shoppers. Here are some tips to help you outsmart those bah-humbug scammers and donate safely.

  • Use credit cards when purchasing gifts online. Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards when purchasing items online. Many credit cards offer benefits, like protection for returns and purchases. If unauthorized charges pop up on your statement, you’ll be able to dispute those charges.
  • Buy Gift Cards directly from the retailer. Be careful where you purchase your gift cards. Fraudsters have been known to tamper with the gift cards displayed in grocery stores. Your best bet is to buy gift cards directly from the retailer at their register or on their website.
  • Research charities before you donate. During the holidays there is always the generous spirit of donating to a charity. Make sure your donation goes where you want it to, not into the hands of a scammer. If someone calls, asking you to give to a charity, don’t let them rush you into making a donation. Instead, research the charity to make sure your donation counts.
  • As always, never give out your personal information over the phone or on the internet if you do not the person you are speaking with.


Learn More.

When temperatures drop, mice often enter homes for warmth and food. No matter how clean you keep your home mice will try to get in. Any crack or crevice along doorways and foundations will allow the pests indoors. Additionally, these unwanted guests don't arrive empty-handed; mice bring along a host of parasites and disease organisms when they enter homes. Please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website to help protect your home from mice this fall and winter.

A message from City of Darien mechanic, Tom Masek, and your Municipal Services department. Your safety is important to Tom and the department, so please prepare for winter driving.

With the harsh temperatures, precipitation, low temperatures and unpredictability, winter can be a dangerous to drive. Safety on the road starts with safety in your vehicle. That’s why it’s important you know how to prepare your car for winter before the season starts. Before the first snowfall or ice storm, follow this list of tips to winterize your car.

  1. Make sure your car has been recently serviced for an oil change and fluid level inspection.
  2. Have your battery tested to be sure it can hold a charge. And while you’re at the service garage, have them remove any battery corrosion.
  3. Have a professional check your antifreeze. If needed, have your antifreeze replaced before the start of the winter season.
  4. As part of an overall inspection, have a professional check your car’s belts, hoses, and spark plugs to help avoid a breakdown in cold winter temperatures.
  5. Replace your wiper blades and keep a spare pair in your car. When windshield wipers wear down, they can cause water smears on the windshield and become more dangerous for winter drives. To prevent wear, use an ice scraper to clear ice from your windshield rather than your wipers. It’s also important to ensure your wiper fluid is freeze resistant and that you keep extra wiper fluid in your vehicle.
  6. Check your tire pressure. Many cars alert the owner when air is needed due to weather fluctuations, but it never hurts to keep a gauge handy. Your owner’s manual will recommend appropriate tire pressure for various driving conditions. Remember, cold weather can cause tires to deflate.
  7. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase snow tires. If you live in rural areas where roads are less likely to be cleared, it’s especially important to get snow tires as soon as possible.
  8. Test your 4-wheel drive. Since you likely haven’t used it since last winter, check this setting now so you’re prepared for the first snow storm of the year.
  9. Try to maintain a full tank of gas, especially in freezing conditions. A full tank may help prevent frozen gas lines and other headaches. It may also keep you warm while you wait for roadside rescue in the event of a weather emergency.
  10. Pack an emergency kit for each car in your household. We recommend having these 14 things, like blankets, a flashlight, and warning triangles, on hand, and put the ice scraper back in the car if you took it out for the summer.
  11. Walk around your vehicle to check your lights and make sure your horn works.
  12. Check your heating system and your brakes.


Contact your mechanic if you are having issues with any of these items. If you have any questions regarding our helpful hints, please email the City Mechanic, Tom Masek.

The City of Darien follows a priority-based system for plowing streets. 

  • High-traffic arterial streets are plowed first, and if necessary, replowed until they are safe and passable. 
  • At that time, lower traffic collector streets are plowed. 
  • When both arterial and collector streets are safe and passable, the plows begin work on residential streets and cul-de-sacs. 

It takes approximately four hours to plow all of the city’s streets once. Consequently, during heavy, ongoing snow, it could take several hours to get to an individual, residential street. Once all streets are open and passable, the City begins addressing other snow concerns, including cutting down large piles of snow at intersections which might create sight distance problems. Finally, after all the street work is complete, the City’s crews begin work clearing sidewalks along Plainfield Road, Cass Avenue and 75th Street.  Learn more.

Please keep in mind that Plainfield Road, Cass Avenue and 75th Street are DuPage County roads and are not plowed by the City of Darien. Contact DuPage County Department of Transportation at 630-407-6900 with any questions.

Spring

Please remember the rules for storing trash containers:

  • Storing garbage containers in the front of the garage is only allowed subject to certain requirements.
  • Garbage containers should not stay out over 24 hours after pickup. Please put your containers away by the next day.

City Code:


7-1-5: STORING OR PLACING GARBAGE, REFUSE, RECYCLABLES, COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS, ETC., ON THE PARKWAY FOR SCAVENGER REMOVAL:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, garbage, refuse, recyclables, compostable materials and similar items may be placed on parkways in the City only to facilitate their removal by licensed scavengers, and only if the following provisions are observed by the person placing or causing to be placed on the parkways items of refuse or compostable materials:

(A)  Any refuse, recyclables, or compostable materials placed on the parkway shall be stored in containers or otherwise appropriately secured to ensure that debris or refuse is not scattered by weather, animals, or other causes. (Ord. 0-37-90, 6-18-1990)

(B)  Refuse, recyclables or compostable materials stored in approved containers such as kraft bags, may be placed on the parkway twenty four (24) hours before the scheduled scavenger service and containers used to store these items shall be removed from the parkway twenty four (24) hours after said scavenger service. It shall be unlawful to place such containers anywhere between the front of the main building, or the side when facing the street, and the street, except during the times specified hereinabove. City-approved containers may be stored between the front of the main building and the street, or between the side of the building and the street when the side of the building is facing the street. The make and model of the approved containers are on file in the City's Building Department. (Ord. 0-10-19, 3-4-2019)

Most mosquitoes bite at dusk or at night, but some types will bite during the day. Almost all mosquitoes will try to bite you if you enter an area where they are resting.
 
  • When possible, avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite.
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. Tuck the pants legs into boots or socks and keep collars buttoned.
  • Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and repair any holes.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors and around small babies
  • Use mosquito repellents with about 30 percent DEET (about 10 percent DEET for children age 2 through 12). Adults should supervise repellent use by children. Do not use any repellents on children under 2 years of age without consulting your doctor. Apply them to clothes whenever possible and apply sparingly to skin if the label permits. Wash repellent off daily. Do not apply over cuts or irritated skin or near the eyes, lips or nose.
  • Do not rely on insect light electrocutors (bug zappers). They do little to reduce biting mosquitoes in an area.
More tips at dupagehealth.org.

Home health care is a variety of services given in the home for an illness or injury and most often is ordered for a patient after a hospital stay. In order for Medicare to cover home health care, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • Services must be ordered by your doctor
  • You must be certified homebound by a doctor
  • You must need skilled care
  • You must have a written plan of care

A phone call from a stranger offering health care services in the home does not meet any of the above criteria. A stranger does not know you or your health history and cannot diagnose your needs over the phone. Always work with your doctor for your health care needs. The Illinois Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) suggests that if you receive a phone call from an unknown person offering free home health care services to just hang up!

The Illinois SMP is here to offer assistance if you feel you have been affected by fraud related to home health care, please call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-6043. Learn more here.

Steps you can take to avoid Home Health Fraud

Each year at this time, we see an increase in door-to-door solicitations in our neighborhoods. Residents who do not want solicitors to ring their doorbells should post a sign on their front door indicating “No Solicitors Invited.” Darien requires that solicitations from for-profit organizations need to apply for a permit, which includes an application for each solicitor they employ. Once the permit application is completed and submitted including authorization from the company, a background check is conducted. Upon approval and receipt of the appropriate fee, a thirty-day permit will be issued.

Charitable organizations, however, only need to provide a letter indicating the dates of solicitation, the type of solicitation, and if appropriate, the intersections where volunteers will be posted.

Residents who would like to deter solicitors from their home may pick up a “No Solicitors Invited” decal for their front door at City Hall (1702 Plainfield Road) or the Darien Police Dept. (1710 Plainfield Road). If a home solicitor fails to show you a city permit or you think the solicitation is a scam please call 911 immediately to report it.

One simple, efficient, low-cost method to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your property is to use rain barrels. Estimates indicate that a quarter-inch of rain falling on an average home yields over 200 gallons of water. Rain barrels are simply large containers that capture stormwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost as runoff. Modern rain barrels are sealed, safe around children and insect resistant – they can even be painted or decorated to your liking. You can divert water from your downspout to fill your rain barrel and a hose spigot on the front makes the water easy to access and use.

For more information check out the Conservation Foundation.

Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching. For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. NOAA Weather Radio is like a smoke detector for severe weather, and it can wake you up when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • The best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
Summer

We all need help from time to time. ComEd has resources to help you manage your bills when things get tough, from Deferred Payment Arrangements and Due Date Extensions to Late Payment Fee Waivers and Information on government assistance programs such as LIHEAP. Check out these resources here.

We’re in the last push of summer, with a mix of hot, warm, and occasionally cool days. On those hot and warm days, be sure to practice heat safety for yourself and to look out for those around you no matter where the day may take you.

Job Sites: It is easy to get distracted when you’re busy at work, so bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated. If you work outside or in a hot environment, be sure to take breaks in shade or A/C as often as possible.

Indoors: Take a minute to check on anyone you know without air conditioning to make sure they are staying cool enough. Heat can affect the elderly and those who are sick more quickly, so be sure to check on them.

Vehicles: Never leave anyone unattended in a car, temperatures can quickly become unsafe and deadly.

Outdoors: Limit your strenuous outdoor activities to cooler times of day and take breaks in the shade. As always, stay hydrated!

Visit weather.gov/heat for more tips!

Where do Property Taxes Go?

Darien residents are starting to receive property tax bills from the DuPage County Treasurer's Office. The County collects and distributes property taxes on behalf of many different taxing units.  As a reminder, Darien receives approximately 3.88% of your property tax payment.

Turn to these trusted resources for more information and to answer your questions:
Visit the Downers Grove Township Assessor’s Office FAQs about property taxes or
DuPage County - Understanding Your Tax Bill

The beautiful summer weather means spending more time outside, but it also means spending more time around bugs, such as bees, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Check out this video for tips on how to prevent bug bites while enjoying the great outdoors, whether that is in your own backyard or on a cross-country adventure.

Our pets give us unconditional love, unending snuggles, and lots of laughter all year round. Let's repay them by keeping them safe in the summer heat. Animals can overheat and get sick, just like humans, so it is important to keep and eye on them during these hot days and take steps to keep them cool.
 
Check out some tips from ASPCA experts to help you keep your pets happy and healthy this season:

  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. 
  • Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!

Here are more useful tips for keeping your loved pets safe in the heat.
 

It is time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather, but also remember to protect yourself from the summer heat. When our bodies get too hot, it can cause heat-related illnesses like Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia can be mild or serious:
  • Mild Hyperthermia may cause discomfort and swelling in feet and ankles.
  • Heat Exhaustion is when your body can no longer cool you down. You may start to feel dizzy, nauseous, thirsty, weak, or uncoordinated.
  • Heat Stroke is the most extreme form of Hyperthermia and is life-threatening. If you think you or someone you know is suffering from heat stroke, seek help immediately. Some symptoms are: fainting, trouble walking, confusion, agitation, dry/flushed skin, and a lack of sweat despite being hot.
Infants, young children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions are more at risk of heat-related illnesses, so be sure to take breaks to cool off during your fun activities this summer. Click here for more tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Indian Prairie Library, located at 401 Plainfield Road serves as a cooling center during its hours of operation. DuPage Community Resource Information System (CRIS) provides a listing of locations by zip code: click here.

When the days are hot and long, there is nothing like a dip in the pool to keep your kids happy and cool. While your family is enjoying swimming and splashing, keep in mind that swimming lessons, fences, and supervision will help keep them safe all summer long! Please remember to follow these pool safety tips:
  • Have safety rules and make sure everyone knows them.
  • Keep children away from filter inlets.
  • Make sure children can swim or wear flotation devices.
  • Ensure that a responsible adult supervises children at all times.
  • Evacuate the pool during a thunderstorm.
Learn More