Moraine Township

October 24, 2019, 7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m., and upon roll call the following members were present: Supervisor Anne Flanigan Bassi, Trustees Pablo Alvarez, Dwayne Douglas, Cindy Wolfson and Amy Zisook.
Also present: Clerk Gail Feiger Brown, videographer Andrew Henderson, Margo Spitz (Blessings in a Backpack), Amy Kaufman (Community Partners for Affordable Housing), James Lynch (The Art Center Highland Park), Pantry Garden manager Sam Piro, master gardeners Sandy Washburn and Linda Mihel, and Moraine Township resident Janet Freed.

Public Comment
There was no public comment.

Pantry Plants Garden Report Sam Piro, Linda Mihel and Sandy Washburn
The garden faced a challenging season due to rainy weather and drainage issues. By the end of the season 16 families had active plots, as well as the six plots growing produce for the Pantry.
Thanks to the following for making it a success:

  • Anton’s Branch and Garden Center for donating all the seeds and seedlings used this year;
  • Jeremy Levin, a local eagle scout who designed and built two substantial rain/butterfly gardens, lessening the severe effects of the rain;
  • Mark Haggarty and Robert Lewis for picking up compost and bringing it to the garden weekly;
  • the Park District of Highland Park for letting us garden on their property;
  • Moraine Township staff for their assistance. This year, Moraine Township pantry clients gardened the plots, instead of families from the Lake County Health Department;
  • the Liberty Foundation for providing a grant supporting the purchase of toolkits and seedlings for client plots.
Supervisor Bassi thanked the gardeners for their dedication and service.

Agency Presentations

  • Margo Spitz, Blessings in a Backpack
  • Margo Spitz presented in lieu of Melissa Septon, who was unable to attend. The Township was thanked for its grant which supported weekend food bags for 150 students this year in five Northshore School District 112 schools: Green Bay, Indian Trail, Wayne Thomas, Ravinia and Braeside. Pre-packed bags are distributed to each school with the assistance of Highland Park High School Key Club. Each child receives a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread provided by Highland Baking.

  • Amy Kaufman, Community Partners for Affordable Housing
  • The Township was thanked for its grant which supports affordable housing and continuum of care housing-related services. CPAH manages 50 rental and home ownership units in Moraine Township, manages the waitlist for inclusionary units at new housing, assists developers with identifying tenants, works with clients on credit counseling and budgeting, manages, resells and releases housing units and offers down-payment assistance.

  • James Lynch, The Art Center Highland Park (TAC)
  • The Township was thanked for its grant which supported a community inclusion and diversity initiative, including scholarships, outreach and classes. TAC offers programs and classes for seniors, people with disabilities, in Spanish language, mental health and wellness programs, and gallery tours for sight impaired, and more. 300 Moraine Township residents were served at TAC last year. During the last year, TAC scholarships were provided upon request to hundreds of applicants, programs for seniors were expanded, and more Spanish language classes were added. A gallery exhibit on homelessness included a food drive for the Township.

Approval of Minutes
Trustee Zisook moved, seconded by Trustee Alvarez, Approval of the Minutes of the October 10, 2019 Regular Board Meeting. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Approval of Bills
Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Alvarez, Approval of the bills for the period October 10-24, 2019 in the following amounts: $7,901.30 General Assistance Fund, $21,916.11 Town Fund. Voting Aye by Roll Call Vote: Supervisor Bassi, Trustees Alvarez, Douglas, Wolfson and Zisook; voting Nay: none.

Action Items

  • Approval authorizing Supervisor to send a letter of support for the extension of Highwood TIF district for 12 years
  • Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Zisook, Approval authorizing Supervisor to support extension of Highwood TIF district for 12 years. Voting Aye by Roll Call Vote: Supervisor Bassi, Trustees Alvarez, Douglas, Wolfson and Zisook; voting Nay: none.


  • Assessor's Report Mark Lindsay
  • The books were closed at the beginning of October and published on October 10. The 30-day appeal period ends on November 12 due to Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day Holidays. The Lake County equalizer for Moraine Township is 1.026329947%. Some neighborhoods got increases in value, some got decreases, but on average most properties decreased approximately 2%. Assessor Lindsay estimates that 1,000 residents have called or come in with questions about their assessments, or for assistance using the new on-line filing system required for filing 2019 appeals.

  • Supervisor's Report Anne Flanigan Bassi
    • The Township will host a Mental Health First Aid training program on January 24 and 31, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; all staff will attend. Other township supervisors and general assistance case managers have been invited as well as local social service agency staff.
    • Supervisor Bassi is receiving daily updates on the roof repair and replacement from the roof consultant. There was an adjustment in our favor when the roofer was able to use cold materials instead of hot tar, reducing costs by $5,200.00. The HVAC was previously installed directly on the roof and will be moved to a structural frame on the roof. For the most part, the work is going smoothly.
    • Door-to-Door Van Driver Kim Schulte has submitted her resignation. A good-bye lunch will be held in her honor at the office on October 25.
    • The Board concurred with Supervisor Bassi to purchase a half-page in 11 issues of the City of Highland Park monthly Highlander publication for $795.00 to guarantee publication of Township services.
    • Trustees are invited to attend the Highland Park Community Foundation Grant Awards Reception on November 13.
    • Supervisor Bassi distributed to Trustees quarterly bank balances.

  • Latino Advisory Committee Report Pablo Alvarez
  • The Committee met on October 23. Staff Linda Contreras attended. Discussion included Door-to-Door Van Service expansion, the Oak Terrace open house, and other local agencies’ activities and programs.

  • Food Insecurity Issues Report Amy Zisook
    • An open house for Oak Terrace students and their families will be held at the Pantry on November 19. The Oak Terrace leadership team will attend.
    • Highwood Recreation Center and St. James pantry clients will be surveyed again to learn what specific barriers may be preventing Moraine Township residents from using the Township Pantry, such as transportation or hours of operation.

  • Food Pantry Report Anne Flanigan Bassi
    • Supervisor Bassi, Trustee Wolfson and Staff Linda Contreras met with Frank Lomoro at Sunset Foods. The Township will use monies raised from our Sunset Foods Fundraiser to support the purchase of frozen ground beef and possibly chicken for our Pantry clients.
    • Supervisor Bassi shared with Trustees the new poster for the Pantry, which will be displayed at events at Congregation BJBE and Idlewood Electric.
    • The Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Link2Feed food pantry software is too time-intensive for staff; installation and operation will be deferred until January.

  • Pantry Plants Garden Report
  • No report.

  • Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee (LCCTSC)
  • No report.

  • Human Relations Advisory Group Report (HRAG) Gail Feiger Brown
  • Clerk Brown attended the HRAG meeting on October 23. HRAG is organizing the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service event on January 20, 2020 at the Park District of Highland Park. The Township will host a food drive at the event.

  • Cemetery Report
  • No report.

Old Business

New Business

  • Regular Board Meeting Date Change
  • The November 14 Regular Board Meeting was changed to November 21.

  • Proposed 2019 Levy
  • Supervisor Bassi and Trustees held a discussion about the Proposed 2019 Levy, which will be voted on at the November Regular Board Meeting. Recent history of the Levy, and proposed 2019 Levy options worksheet, was distributed to Trustees. The Supervisor and Trustees concurred that the Township Levy should freeze existing taxpayers and increase only for new construction. New construction requires additional services.

Executive Session

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Alvarez that the meeting be adjourned at 8:33 p.m. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Gail Feiger Brown, Moraine Township Clerk

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