The Morton Community Foundation is in the middle of a change.
After having its offices at 309 N. Main St., for five-and-a-half years, the Foundation is currently moving to 105 E. Jefferson St., which was the former Jefferson Street Clinic.
According to Foundation Exectutive Director Scott Witzig, they are hoping to be moved in by Feb. 23, but that date could be delayed depending on window and door installation.
The building was bought by Apostolic Timber Ridge for their Community Integrated Living Arrangements staff to use, but ATR is letting the Foundation use the extra space.
“After visiting the site, I was extremely excited and decided to bring Ron Messner to our Dec. 14 Board meeting to explain the potential arrangements,” Witzig said. “After hearing from Ron, the MCF Board voted unanimously to pursue a lease agreement with ATR.”
Ron Messner, the Director of Apostolic Timber Ridge, said that they knew they would not need all the office space when they purchased it, and wanted to find some way to give back to the Village of Morton that had been supportive of ATR.
“We see (the Morton Community Foundation) as being very compatible to work with,” Messner said.
Previously, the MCF had used second-floor space in a building owned by Lighthouse Automotive. The space was provided for free.
“On behalf of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, I would like to recognize and thank Jeff Grimm and his staff at Lighthouse Automotive for providing office space and utilities for us these past five years,” Witzig said in a prepared statement. “We could not have done so much good in our community without their generous donation of office space rent-free. At the same time, we are absolutely thrilled to be taking this next step to a more accessible and visible location, thanks to the generosity of the folks at A.C. Timber Ridge.”
One of the reasons for the move was to help visitors to the Foundation more easily access the offices. Now, the MCF will be located on the first floor.
“This new location will offer much better accessibility on ‘main floor’ of the building.,” Witzig said. “This is particularly helpful for our elderly donors who currently must navigate a long, steep staircase to reach our current office space. We will also have better visibility to passersby.
We believe this may help us to get more walk-in traffic than at our current location. ATR is also using a large team of volunteers from the Apostolic Christian Church community to help with a major renovation of the building. Walking in to our new offices will be like walking in to a brand new office building.”
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Along with the move comes the addition of extra operational costs that the MCF previously did not have to pay. This includes sharing the cost of utilities and building services with the ATR, which will be about $200 a month.
Previously, Lighthouse Automotive paid all costs.
In addition, the Foundation will soon post a list of items they will need to purchase for the office, or have already purchased, that donors can help pay for.
“Since we’re a 501(c)(3) charity, all these donations would be tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law,” Witzig said.
He added that they recently purchased quite a bit of office furniture through a foreclosure that a donor has already helped pay for.
Anyone interested in helping by donating to cover the cost can contact Witzig at 291-0434 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.