Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: July 26, 2016
The meeting is called to order at 4:15 pm
Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs
Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Novella Shuck, Sharon Yoder, Kevin Robling, Sherman Bynum, Jeff Fanyo, Quintin Zornes, Alysia Fornal
- Opening of Bids for Parking Lot at 4:15pm
- Stepping Stones Request for Funds
- Weed Complaint Letter
- Boys and Girls Club
- Storage and Moving
- State-Mandated Budgeting Meeting
- Township Conference
Opening of Bids for Parking Lot at 4:15pm
EMV Paving of Bloomington and Neidigh Construction are the two places that submitted bids for the parking lot project. There will now be a statutory-required opening of both bids.
Neidigh Construction’s bid was for $217,000.00.
E&B Paving’s bid was for $369,500.00.
Kevin Robling and Jeff Fanyo will go through both project bids to ensure they are statutorily responsible, comprehensive, etc. The board must set up a meeting to accept one of the bids, after sufficient time has passed to review the bids and determine their responsiveness. Kevin determines they should be ready in 1 week. After deliberation, the board decides on August 15th at 12pm. This will be a very short meeting, just to formally accept one of the bids.
Stepping Stones Request for Funds
Alysia Fornal with Stepping Stones is here today to request funds for her organization. She thanks the Township for their support throughout the years. Stepping Stones needs assistance currently because in mid-June they were notified that their ESG application was denied. This has been their second highest source of funding since 2009. She states that she personally is to blame for this, as she missed filling out one form on the funding application. As result of this denial, Stepping Stones has had to lay off its programming director, she has taken a $5,000 pay cut, and they have reduced the staff hours in their evening shifts. Since then, they have also been raising funds and were able to secure $17,000 in funding 6 business days. They raised enough emergency funding to maintain their lease through next year and continue their sustainability plan. She attributes their ability to secure these funds to the community being so great, as well as to the fact that they offer unduplicated services in the community.
The grant they lost was for varying amounts each year, and last year it was for $55,900. It was $40.000 in 2014 and $35,000 the year before. They raised close to $19,000 since losing the grant this year, but there is still a big deficit between what they have versus what they lost. Donations have begun to plateau. Stepping Stones has numerous sustainability plans, fortunately, and they are currently seeking another nonprofit to merge with, which would have a diverse funding base from their own. They are working on finding a merge and extending their services. They are currently in contact with two local nonprofits, one of which has Medicaid reimbursement. They’ve been given the green light to seek a merger with both orgs and are in the due diligence phase with both organizations. They do have preference of organization, and both nonprofits know this. At this time, Stepping Stones is still seeking additional funding to show they are a viable partner in merger talks. They would also like to reinstate their regular hours, especially for the evening. If they do merge with an organization that has Medicaid reimbursement, all staffers will have eligible billable hours, so this is a very do-able goal.
Stepping Stones has also submitted an application for a three-year grant with Human Services for street homeless. Their organization consistently has around 30 young people on their waitlist at any given time. They are a transitional housing program, but since kids are a protected group, they are the only transitional housing that was protected under HUD when every other organization’s funding was cut this year in favor of rapid-re-housing programs. Dan asks if they are a single-site or multiple-site housing project, and Alysia states they operate out of College Mall Apartments, which is considered “clustered housing.” Dan asks how close they are to closing the doors of any of those units with the funding they’ve already received. Alysia says they only have projections out for the next several months, and with their sustainability plans, they have a goal to merge within 2-4 months, and their projections can get them through the period until they merge.
Dan states that the Township did appropriate $6,000 for Stepping Stones for 2016, to be released to them at the end of the year. The Board could release those funds early, but any additional funds above that $6,000 would need to be an additional appropriation. Barb asks if the Township spent the entire shelter close-out fund, and Dan states no. Dan states the Township has appropriated $15,000 for emergency set-aside funds. It would take a resolution to release the $6,000 appropriation early (instead of at the end of the year).
Dan asks Alysia if her office has instituted a process to check their paperwork going into the future, so as not to miss funding opportunities again. She states they have not done anything officially, but she does have staff available who could do that.
There are officially 304 homeless youth in Monroe County. Jack asks about Stepping Stones and their track record of success, and Alysia states that 75% of their residents exit to stable housing, and 100% of the residents that stay at least 90 days do. Two of their program requirements are completing high school and maintaining employment. Stepping Stones’ biggest expenses are payroll and rent. One month of rent is $2,900 and $4,000 covers payroll for two weeks. With recent cuts however, payroll is only $3,000 per two weeks.
Alysia states the Sophia Travis grant is on 8/1 and they will be applying for that. Additionally, $2,500 has been made available from the Community Foundation, $3,000 from the Community Action Program, and $1,500 from Van Buren Township. Bloomington Township stated they did not have the funds in their budget and Richland Township has yet to respond. They have received their Jack Hopkins funding already and are maintaining that contract as-is.
Dan states that financially, the Township could appropriate $11,000 (including their already-approved $6,000). Public-wise, it is not good that Perry Township seems to be the only Township that offers significant emergency funding. They need to work out a policy on how to deal with this in the future. The board discusses assisting with an additional $5,000 on top of the $6,000 awarded grant. Alysia states that $11,000 would get their organization through three months of expenses that are outside reimbursable activity. Dan recommends the $11,000 amount.
Alysia is very optimistic with both the organizations she is in talks with to merge. Everyone knows exactly what the conversations are, including which one she wants to merge with more. August 1st is the priority date for engagements (whether to make a Medicaid contract or to fully acquire Stepping Stones).
The Board decides to further discuss an additional $5,000 in assistance at the 8/15 board meeting and are leaning positively towards providing that assistance, but would first want an update on the merger.
Barb motions that the Board release its $6,000 grant early with no strings. Susie seconds the motion, and all vote in favor of it. The Township will have its lawyer type up a contract, and they will cut the check.
The Township has discussed the distance from a property that one should reside within in order to have a right to make a weed complaint. The board wanted it to be less than football field but never codified this into a motion. Dan recommends that the board make 200 ft from the property the set distance. Dan explains the weed complaint process to the board. Wording on the weed complaint form would read something like “I attest my property lines are within 200 feet of ____ property.” Jack makes a motion to set this distance, Barb seconds the motion, and all vote “Aye” on the measure.
Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club is requesting Township assistance of $25,000 over 5 years for a capital building project term. The Township is not permitted to make a commitment that extends past the terms of its political offices. They will have to rewrite the request and Dan recommends that the request goes through the regular grant process. The board concurs.
Storage and Moving
The Townshiph has some things to resolve while the parking lot is worked on. Sharon contacted a couple of places regarding storage of the documents, etc. that is currently in the shed behind the office. Dan would like to get a mini warehouse and also solicits help for moving the documents. Parking at the Township while the lot is being constructed will be tricky as well, and Susie advises the Township call City of Bloomington and they can give passes for the employees to park in Washington Street residential parking.
State-Mandated Budgeting Meeting
We have two dates as choices, 9/8 or 10/13. At least two people need to be in attendance. This is tentatively set.
Perry Township needs to go this year as we received the traveling trophy last year and determine who gets the trophy this year. The conference is 9/18 to 9/21. If any of the board wishes to attend they should let Pat know.
Barb adjourned the meeting at 5:29pm.