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News of the Township
Township Office Remodeling Underway

For Immediate Release
date: October 8, 2009
Contact: Mari Barnes, Supervisor, 847-432-3240

"BUSINESS AS USUAL" AS TOWNSHIP CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

It's almost "business as usual" at the Moraine Township Office while they're undergoing renovations to the outmoded space at 777 Central Avenue, Highland Park.

"One of the key items on our list of requirements for any contractor bids was that they do the work in stages that would not interrupt or stop our public services," noted Supervisor Mari Barnes. "So our administrative offices have been left intact at the rear, while the workmen perform the major renovations in the front section."

"Our Food Pantry is operating normally, with clients coming in to collect bags of groceries weekly, and Moraine Door-to-Door, and General Assistance services and the like continue without interruption," according to staff member Paula Peddle.

The Moraine Township Board of Trustees had been exploring a move from the inadequately designed space on Central Avenue which they had inherited from a previous administration in 2005. Assessor Pete Koukos felt his staff had to have larger quarters, and both functions needed more private client interview space.

According to Township Clerk Ellen Gussin, the present location should have been brought up to meet ADA public access requirements imposed on government entities from the start.

"One of the main reasons for the current long overdue remodeling is to conform to requirements for a public, government office – like having handicapped-accessible doorway and public lavatory facilities," commented Gussin. "Disabled residents have had great difficulty entering our doorway, and the lavatory facilities were impossible to use."

Two years ago, the Board considered buying their own building at the far north end of the Township, but opted not to expend the capital funds or go into debt. Supervisor Barnes searched for other rental space, but the decision to remain at the present aptly-named Central Avenue, with its more affordable rent and convenient location for clients, won the day. Building owners will be helping to pay for structural improvements like the ADA doorway, while the Township, as a tenant, does the buildout for office space divisions.

Assessor Koukos jumped at the chance to take over the storefront one door north of the original Township office last Spring. Assessor Office clients will have access to the shared public ADA-compliant lavatory. Only one doorway is being remodeled, and can serve both offices.

The Township looks forward to a speedy conclusion to the renovations, and to the enhancements they will provide in meeting public needs.

In the meantime, residents are asked to refrain from bringing in donations of clothing, since the Clothes Closet has been put on hiatus for now. Donors are encouraged to bring clothing to the ORT resale shop across the street from the Township, at 800 Central in Highland Park, or to other nonprofit organizations.

"The Township is providing vouchers to residents for use at the ORT shop, and has retained some winter coats for emergency use," according to staff member Shannon Mosier.

Donations of foodstuffs are still welcomed, as space and construction allows over the next few weeks.

For further information about Moraine Township services to residents, explore their website at http://morainetownship.org or call Supervisor Mari Barnes at 847-432-3240.

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777 Central Av, Highland Park IL 60035, 847-432-3240