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MINUTES
Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, January 26, 2012 7:00 PM
Moraine Township Office

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
January 26, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Supervisor Mari Barnes; Trustees, Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno and Jackie Schechter. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Diana Schnell, Jane Talesnick, Janet Freed, Paula Peddle, Grizell Toledo, and Shannon Mosier. Trustee Dwayne Douglas arrived late.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of December 15, 2011 stand approved as written and distributed. The January 12 meeting could not be held due to lack of a quorum. The presenters who came to the meeting were invited to address the attendees and a summary of their report is [linked here].

Approval of Bills
Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, approval of the bills: $34,616.42 for Town Fund and $7,509.70 for General Assistance for the period of January 1-15, 2012. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Public Comment
None

Agency Presentation
Equestrian Connection, Diana Schnell, Executive Director
Founded in 2001, the agency resides at 600 N. Bradley Rd in unincorporated Lake County between Lake Forest and Mettawa. Its primary mission is to provide riding opportunities for children with disabilities, both mental and physical. The program strengthens the individual's core musculature and provides a powerful emotional connection. It serves 250 individuals on a weekly basis by providing therapeutic horseback riding and Hippo Therapy (Greek for horse), where the individual walks alongside the horse as a physical therapy tool to get the stance and walking rhythm in sync with horse. The agency is now addressing MS patients – the warmth of the horse and the modality has allowed the patients to relieve pain and walk without their canes. Equine-assisted psycho-therapy is provided through the Moraine Township $2,500 grant; the goal is to help individuals connect through observation of the ponies' behavior and interaction. The grant covers direct treatment by the psychologist, equine assistant therapist, and a professional horse handler. At least six Moraine Township residents are served currently. There are several different audiences: the agency's own clientele of disabled young girls where caring for horses has been expanded to how to care for each other and oneself; anxiety-ridden teens referred by Highland Park Hospital and Lake Forest, Deerfield, and Highland Park High Schools; and art therapy for others coping with emotional anxiety. The Crazy About Horses program allows girls who are reticent to admit to self-esteem problems to open up. The Deerfield Park District Summer Brochure is publicizing this program, and the Center is trying to expand to Highland Park and Lake Forest Park Districts. Yet another program works with Allendale (residential homes that help children with severe emotional disorders); these girls are age 8 to 12, and they will be building in a job component to teach them a functional skill. Allendale may become a source of funding in the future. They currently have twenty horses. Trustee Moreno suggested they apply for an increased dollar amount because it appears that so much good is being done for people who may not be served as well elsewhere.

Highland Park/Highwood Home Child Care Association, Jane Talesnick, Executive Director
Jane reported that two high school students from the program graduated last year and that they still have one student in high school. The program has expanded to women going back to school for training since there are fewer high school students getting pregnant, which is the first priority. They have received requests for child care from women who want to work but cannot afford child care. One former student was successful in being hired back by the child-care provider that had originally helped her. The agency also helps women get licensed to provide home child care in their own home. They conduct evening programs free of charge – the next program is with an occupational therapist; they have had CPAs and nutrition experts as well. Ms. Talesnick passed out brochures and recited the telephone number for the camera and future listeners [to this meeting recorded for cable].

The Art Center of Highland Park, Gabrielle Russo, Executive Director
This agency was scheduled to appear but did not attend.

Action Items
None

Reports
Assessor's Report
None

Supervisor's Report
Township received a letter from the Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park yesterday advising the $40,000 grant awarded to Moraine Township for the paratransit program.

Highland Park School District 112 called to praise the Township for its great work on the Phyllis Santullano Holiday Gift Drive. The School Community Relations Specialist for 112 will be working with the Township to help insure a unified, one-drive community wide for next year.

There is an extra van just sitting on the parking lot not being used and aging – the wheel chair lift alone is valuable. It has too many miles to be useful if we expand to a third vehicle; the Board authorized Supervisor Barnes to dispose of it as best possible.

Trustee Gamson asked about what happened with the Coast2Coast drug program.
Paula Peddle has the discount cards and has been giving them out as appropriate.

On Saturday, February 25 there will be a Resource Fair at Highland Park Country Club in conjunction with the City of Highland Park and the North Shore Health Center.

Cemeteries
Shannon Mosier has been entering all the information onto the dedicated cemetery computer from the old index cards, using a custom-made data base that was designed after the Tim Horsley study of the burial plots.

Latino Advisory Committee
Last meeting on December 5 had discussed information on tax returns and the program that Family Network has in place. The January 9 meeting was cancelled, and the next meeting is February 6.

Pantry Plants Garden Project
No report.

Grants
A check issued to Nicasa in May, 2010 in the amount of $1,000 representing 2010 grant funds from the Township was never cashed and is still outstanding as of the December 2011 bank statement. In accordance with the Accountant's instructions Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, that the check be rescinded.
Trustee Gamson reported that six grant applications have been received thus far; the deadline of February 1 is approaching. The last budget allocated $160,000 for grants plus $50,000 for the special grant for Family Services. Supervisor Barnes asked the Board how much they want to put into the budget for the coming year. Trustee Gamson responded that she would go up to $250,000 allocated, IF the grant requests warrant the funding, using dollars from the Township reserves if needed, especially because the State is not meeting its obligations to many of the agencies.

Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee (LCCTSC)
Trustee Gamson reported that there is nothing new to report but the committee is still focusing on services to our corner of the County.

Human Relations Commission of Highland Park
Trustee Douglas attended a meeting on January 5 and discussion concerned preparation for the Martin Luther King Event on January 16 as well as discussion about the Humanitarian Award for this year.

Community Family Center
Clerk Gussin reported on the January meeting. President Wander announced that B'nai Torah in Highland Park, located just north of the southeast corner of Ft. Sheridan, has approached CFC regarding the possibility of using some of their space. Preliminary review and architectural consulting is being conducted to determine the viability of this option as costs to rehab the Karger Center are perceived as too high by many potential donors. All options are being explored by the CFC Board.

Other
Township newsletter will be short with some quick articles of what is going on in the Township. Target date for mailing is late February or early March.

Voting precincts have been changed and everyone has received new voter registration cards with the correct precinct to vote at; if in doubt, go to the Lake County Clerk's webpage.

Unfinished Business
Township needs to set a Budget Meeting – February 23 will no longer work but we can change the March 8 meeting to March 1 at 5:30 to discuss budget and hold our early meeting then instead of March 8.

New Business
January begins our new meeting times of 5:30 on the second Thursday and 7:00 PM for the fourth Thursday of the month.

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, the meeting be adjourned at 8:12 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk

 

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