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MINUTES
Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:00 PM
Moraine Township Office

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
March 10, 2011

Trustee Gamson called the meeting to order in Supervisor Barnes' absence at 5:01 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, and Margoth Moreno. Trustee Jackie Schechter was absent. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Assessor Patty Powers, Nikki Bonamarte, Susan Bell, Norm Goldring, and Janet Freed.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of February 23, 2011 stand approved as written and distributed.

Approval of Bills
Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, approval of the bills. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Agency Presentations
Nikki Bonamarte, Director of Development for Lambs Farm Inc.
Lambs Farm is celebrating its 50th year of service and changing its logo and tagline to Where People Grow. She said it is an exciting time, reinforcing the reality that the human spirit needs nourishment to grow. Lambs Farm delivers vocational, residential, and social services to 250 people, who live mainly on campus in residential homes and single apartments. They receive federal funding. Moraine Township funds enable the "Healthy Hands" program, in which at least 50 participants are able to exercise at least twice per week, and the Quest program, which helps residents establish confidence in a total of 165 classes including arts & crafts, hiking, money management, sign language training, Special Olympics training (110 participants train for 8 sports), etc. Health Services receives minimal funding from the State and Moraine Township funds augment the staff services including some clients that live off campus. Medical professionals come to Lambs and patients are driven to outside visits as necessary. Length of life has been extended from 40 to 50 years of age to a more normal lifespan. There are 39 residents who work in the community and 148 that work on campus. Staff consists of Vocational Managers and Quality Supervisors. Township funds impact Township residents – 5% of the Lambs' population is from Moraine. Focus is on raising awareness and giving more emphasis to the businesses operated there which include a Pet Store, Country Restaurant, Baked Goods and Chocolates Store, and a growing catalog business in addition to the Petting Zoo and Farm.

Susan Bell, Executive Director, College Bound Opportunities
Susan passed out a folder explaining the program, its demographics, and calendar highlights. Most students come from Highland Park High School, and both college scholarships and coaching opportunities are provided for economically disadvantaged students. A total of three high schools are served; this year there are 15 from HPHS; 5 from Deerfield and 5 from Lake Forest. Calendar is full of activities going on throughout the year which include tutoring, workshops, FAFSA (form that the federal government requires in order to be eligible for aid). Susan meets with each family individually to explain what will be required by each family. There are 100 coaches from the community that are the liaisons to the students and keep them on track once they get to college. On average 53% of students who go to college graduate, but for the economically disadvantaged the stat is much lower – 25%. College Bound has a 90% graduation rate through the coaching, which they structure to provide self advocacy and independence. This year will be the first graduation class of six students; program this year has grown to 25. Dollars go to ACT tutoring, math tutoring, trips to campuses, purchases of laptop computers. The cost to put one student through the six year program is $24,000. After students take all the required subsidized loans, College Bound tries to fill the gap. They receive many more applications than they can accept; selection process is based on extensive application and interview process. Most are first generation college students. This year they received 48 applications of which 40 could have been funded if the dollars were there; they took the 25 best. Annual budget is $382,000, which is expected to increase considerably next year. Space for meetings is allocated by the high schools – HPHS is most cooperative. Norm Goldring (in attendance) is a Board member and Moraine Township resident.

Public Comment
none

Action Items
none

Reports
Assessor's Report
Patty Powers reported on the Senior Freeze Outreach Program to be held April 29, from 10:00 AM to 12 noon at the Highland Park Recreation Center on Park Ave. Several from the Chief County Assessor's Office will be on hand. If residents cannot make that date, the Assessor's Office is available to help on an individual basis. In order to qualify for the Senior Freeze, one must have $55,000 or less in total household income.

Next week the Lake County Board of Review will be sending out findings from the Appeal Process. In 2008 there were 20 demolition permits and 11 new house permits; in 2009 only 11 demolition and 4 new house permits; 2011 seems to be improving.

Supervisor's Report
None

Latino Advisory Committee
Trustee Douglas reported that the Nuestro Center will be going back to the Highwood Zoning Commission and then the City Council; Library Board has turned down its request for space; Trustee Moreno heard that they are going to try again with the Library Board. Interfaith Housing has put together a website that people of lesser means might want to access to know their rights with landlords. The Committee is still working on helping people who need assistance with tax preparation. Next meeting is on April 11.

Food Pantry
No report

Other
Grant Advisory Committee is meeting for the second time March 14.
Talk of the Township was in the mail last week.

Unfinished Business
None

New Business
None

Executive Session
None

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas, the meeting be adjourned at 6:00 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk

 

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