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City Council Meeting Minutes April 24, 2023

City of Fulton

Council Meeting Minutes

April 24, 2023 

Public Hearing

Mayor Wendy called a Public Hearing to order at 5:30 p.m. to receive public comment on the proposed 2023/2024 Budget. Mayor Wendy asked if there were any questions regarding the budget as presented. No questions or comments. 2023-2024 Budget accepted. Public Hearing was closed.

Regular Meeting

Mayor Wendy called the meeting to order at 5:45 pm. On roll call, Alderpersons King, VanKampen, Mask, and Brondyke were present. Alderpersons VanZuiden, Nederhoff, Banker and Hunt were absent. City Administrator Clark, Chief Neblung, Public Works Director Sikkema, City Treasurer Fosdick and City Clerk Garibay were also in attendance.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Swearing In of New Alderpersons.

Mayor Wendy announced the new Alderpersons to be sworn in. They are 1st Ward Alderpersons - Barbara Mask and Jeff Brondyke. 2nd Ward Alderperson - Terry Boonstra. 3rd Ward Alderperson - Keith King. 4th Ward Alderperson - Jackie Wilkin. All of these will serve a 4 year term.

Mayor Wendy recited the Oath of Office to the new Alderpersons and presented them with Certificates. They took their assigned seats in the Council Chambers.

Mayor Wendy thanked them for serving their community.

New Appointments by Mayor Wendy (with Council consent) were announced. City Clerk, Tori Wade and City Attorney, Rebecca Huizenga. Mayor Wendy introduced Tori Wade as her appointment for City Clerk.

Mayor Wendy announced that she has been asked the question of how Tori Wade would fulfill the duties of City Clerk and keep her position of Billing Clerk at City Hall. Mayor Wendy explained her views and then asked Business Manager/Deputy City Clerk, Tammy Garibay, to clarify the details of this appointment. Garibay explained that Wade was totally aware that her position as Billing Clerk at City Hall was to be first priority while at City Hall during business hours. The City Clerk duties will be carried out after regular business hours. A separate time sheet will be kept. Compensation for the City Clerk had been voted on and approved by the Council at an earlier meeting.

 Alderperson Sue VanKampen asked when Business Manager, Tammy Garibay retires, will the City be hiring another Business Manager? Mayor Wendy said yes. Mayor Wendy explained that Tori was appointed because no one else had run. If she decides to continue her position as City Clerk when this 4-year appointment is over, she will have to run.

Alderperson, Barb Mask, stated that City Ordinance reads that the Council approves but also gives advice to the Mayor regarding appointments. Alderperson Mask asked the Mayor how can the Council give advice when they are hearing the names for the first time. Alderperson, Barb Mask, announced that per City Ordinance, Mayor appointed positions are with Council consent and the Council has 30 days to review these appointments. The Mayor agreed to move these 2 appointments to the next City Council meeting on May 8, 2023.

Mayor Wendy introduced her appointment for City Attorney, Rebecca Huizenga. She stated that former City Attorney Shirk would be glad to answer any questions that may arise.

Recognition of Volunteers. None 

Communication from Visitors.

Kathy Suehl spoke regarding the recently printed City of Fulton Visitor’s Guide. She was disappointed that information about her business, Windmill Realty, was incorrect in the guide. Lesley Webster, Chairman of Fulton’s Tourism Committee, stated that she took full responsibility for the error. She apologized for the error saying the Tourism committee did not catch the error before printing. The Clinton Herald newspaper, the printer of the guide, offered to compensate Windmill Realty with some free advertising spots in the future.

Suehl asked who makes up the Tourism Committee because she would like to be on that committee. Lesley Webster said that she could not add her to the committee because members are appointed by the Mayor. Mayor Wendy responded saying the Tourism Committee is not City sanctioned. She does not appoint the Tourism Director or any of those appointments. The only person who could appoint committee members would be a Tourism Director if the City had one. Lesley’s position is part time. Tourism is under the Economic Development Committee. If need be, that committee would take on tourism business.

Mayor Wendy asked, “Do we need a Tourism Director, full time”? Mayor said, “Yes, we do”. We have budgeted $30,000.00 which equates to 30 hours a week. We need someone who is in this building. Business Manager, Tammy Garibay, stated that the City has only budgeted $20,000.00 for this position.

Lesley Webster stated that it’s a public meeting that anyone can attend and it was her understanding that it was an assignment. If not, Lesley stated that they would work with that.

Alderperson Wilkin asked Lesley Webster if all the Visitor Guides had been printed. She said yes and they have been distributed. There were 6,000 printed.

Julie Meiners presented to the Council the upcoming 34th Annual Blessing of the Bikes in downtown Fulton on Sunday, June 4, 2023, beginning at 1:00 p.m. She said this year they would like to include golf carts and side by sides at the blessing. She communicated with Police Chief Neblung about blocking off roads for the event. She asked that they can hold the event until 5:00 p.m. even though they are usually done by 3:30 p.m. She was told she needs to get Special Events paperwork filled out and turned in. The beer garden license is going through Johnnie’s Tap. Mayor Wendy stated to Julie Meiners that this event is well organized and the downtown area is always left very clean.

Consent Agenda. Approve the Council Meeting Minutes from April 10, 2023. Approve Treasurer’s Report. Motion to approve the Consent Agenda, Alderperson Mask, seconded Alderperson VanKampen. Roll call, all in attendance said, yes.

Business.

Approve 2023/2024 Annual Budget. Motion to approve, Alderperson, King. Seconded Alderperson Brondyke. Roll call, all in attendance said, yes.

Approve a $10,000 donation (or other amount determined by the Council) for the Impact Program. River Bend Superintendent, Dr.l Hogue was not in attendance. The Motion failed. The Council decided to postpone this until the next meeting, when hopefully, Dr. Hogue could attend.

Approve the Band Shell Funding. Public Works Director, Eric Sikkema, said he met with the contractor. There is a question of the design taking into account the snow load. If the structure could handle it. Brian Buis, of Frary Lumber, is looking into this. We are still waiting for bids.

Committee of the Whole - Discussion.

Cattail Rental Increases - concerns about the substantial increase from citizens.

Alderperson, Sue VanKampen, stated that the price increase was due to the cost of upkeep at Cattail Park; heating, air conditioning, roads, flower beds. The cleaning deposit is important because people have left messes and a $40.00 cleaning deposit does not cover the costs involved. Business Manager, Garibay, addressed a question to Alderperson VanKampen and Public Works Director, Eric Sikkema. She said it is the responsibility of whoever inspects the Cattail building after it is rented to report any cleaning or damage issues to City Hall so that we do not return the renter’s deposit. No one has ever let City Hall know that a mess was left or we would have held their deposit. Alderperson Van Kampen said maybe people decide not to clean up their messes because the deposit is only $40.00, they may think it’s easier to lose the deposit than clean it. That is why a $100.00 cleaning deposit may be a better amount to keep people accountable. Alderperson Brondyke asked if people are canceling upcoming reservations at the Cattail Park. Tammy Garibay stated people are not canceling upcoming reservations, but in the last 2 weeks we’ve had a couple of dozen people come to rent it and said no they didn’t want to pay the new fees. 

Alderperson Mask stated that the original idea of renting the Cattail Park facility was to have a place families could gather at an affordable price. Alderson Van Kampen asked where are people going to go for $100.00? Alderperson Wilkin said we should advertise our prices so that people know the cost before they rent the Cattail. Mayor Wendy stated that we need to be more diligent with communication between Public Works and City Hall when it comes to whether or not to keep a renter’s deposit. 

Committee Reports.

Finance - No report.

Personnel - No report.

Economic Development. No report.

Parks and Rec - Next meeting May 17, 2023, 4:00 p.m. at City Hall.

Mayor Wendy stated that she will be making appointments at the next City Council meeting.

Public Safety - No report.

Marina - No report. It is flooded.

Zoning - No report.

Mayor’s Report - New fiber is coming to Fulton. It is now in Morrison, IL.

Aldermen Report - No report.

City Administrator’s Report - No report.

Alderperson Van Kampen asked the Mayor if the Council is going back to Committee of the Whole meetings? Mayor Wendy said yes, in May. The first meeting of the month would be discussion only. The second meeting of the month will be action.

Chief of Police Report - Mayor Wendy showed a plaque that was awarded to the Fulton Police Department. Chief Nick Neblung reported the Lexapro System - officers did daily training and they are 100% in compliance with establishing policy. Mayor Wendy stated that this award shows our Police Department is working very well. Alderperson Boonstra stated that this award puts Fulton’s Police Department in the top 8% in the United States.

Alderperson Sue Van Kampen brought up the Santa Claus house. According to Jason Snyder, FHS, Santa Claus house will be delivered downtown in time for Dutch Days. Mr. Hanson will store it. Corey Council will move it where needed.

Public Works Report - 1st Ward is very grateful for the new sidewalks.

Fulton Tourism Report - No report.

Historical Society Report - Insurance company is adding a “no cannabis” provision on the Martin House Museum’s policy. Alderperson Wilkin asked if the Martin House Museum generates any income. Alderperson Mask said, no, it is maintained by a grant and that it does not cost the citizens of Fulton anything. Also, no property taxes are paid.

Mayor Wendy said there was no need to go into closed session.

Adjourn Meeting – Alderperson Brondyke made a motion to adjourn. All were in favor. Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tori Wade