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City Council Meeting Minutes June 1, 2015



JUNE 1, 2015

Mayor Russell called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the city clerk to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barb Mask, Gene Field, Margaret Crosthwaite, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen, Len Janis, Mike Van Zuiden, and Howard Van Zuiden answered “present.” Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, Erin Wessels- Tourism/Community Services Intern, James Rhoades – Chief of Police, Bill Shirk- City Attorney and Dan Clark- Public Works Director.

The pledge of allegiance was recited. Youth Pastor John Kershner delivered the invocation.

Following the invocation Mayor Russell asked Pastor John to inform the Council on UNITE work camp. Pastor John said this is the second year the churches in our community have worked together to put on this camp. There are 50 – 60 teenagers participating in the camp this year. The teenagers will paint nine homes in three days between Clinton, Fulton, and Morrison. Their service is free of charge to the home owners. All funds for this project have been donated by local businesses and churches. Mayor Russell commented that many of the homes selected for this project have a handicap ramp.

Ald. Barb Mask introduced Erin Wessels, Tourism/Community Services Intern. Erin goes to Trinity Lutheran College majoring in Business Communications and a minoring in Psychology. The Council welcomed her aboard.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions or comments on the last regular meeting minutes. With no further discussion Ald. Nederhoff motioned, seconded by Ald. Janis to approve the May 18, 2015 Regular Council Meeting minutes. Roll call vote/ 8 yes/ motion carried.

The first item for consideration, Mayor Russell said they sent a thank you letter to The Fulton Flood Control District for contributing $800 (50%) towards the cost to upgrade the tornado siren at the RFCC. The upgrade allows the Fulton Police Department to trigger the alarm remotely, saving valuable time and ensuring Fulton residents receive faster warning of dangerous weather conditions.

Second, Administrator Cannon introduced Joe Schwenker with Bear Development out of Kenosha, WI. Mr. Schwenker gave a presentation to the Council on a proposed Section 42 housing development at the former J.T. Cullen site, along Highway 84. The three story development would include forty units varying from one to two bedrooms. Mr. Schwenker displayed drawings of the possible housing development and explained that tenants for these units would need to earn income of $20,000-$32,000 per year. Fulton is an opportunity area for this type of housing unit according to IDA. Mayor Russell asked if they are locked in on that location and Mr. Schwenker said they are not locked in on that location yet and the whole project is still in the concept stage. Ald. Mask asked who would own and manage the building. Bear Development would own and manage the housing unit for 15 -18 years. After that time period they could sell or retain the property. Mayor Russell thanked Mr. Schwenker for his presentation and expressed there is a need in our community for this type of housing.

Third, Mayor Russell said the street lighting contract with Constellation expires July 2015. Rock River Energy has received bids and the best option is to let the account revert back to ComEd and revisit again in 2016. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to let the account revert back to ComEd. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried. Ald. Field commented that our town is very dark at night and wondered if more street lights could be installed. PW Director Clark explained that there is a one-time cost for a new street light to be installed and then a utility charge per month per light. PW Director Clark also said if there is a certain area that needs more lighting to let him know and he can get an estimate on what more lights would cost.

Fourth, the Public Works department is ready to begin construction of the pavilion at the new 3rd Ward park. Staff recommends a blanket permit to cover all new construction at the park and waive permit fees. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Howard Van Zuiden to waive all building permit fees. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.


Police Chief Rhoades handed out a diagram showing the Council of the exact locations of barricades for Blessing of the Bikes scheduled for June 6, 2015. Street closures will be 8:00AM - 6:00PM. Within these barricades possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Chief Rhoades also said three officers will be working the event and he has notified neighboring police departments of the event. With no further discussion, Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the street closure. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.


Mayor Russell reviewed his written report. He listed each committee and suggested which Council member(s) he thought should oversee each committee. He asked that each Council member let him know by the end of the week if they were able to oversee the assigned group he proposed. Mayor Russell also thanked Ald. Field and the Legion for the program they held at the Veteran’s Memorial on Memorial Day.


Administrator Cannon included a written report. He also asked PW Director Clark to post a sign or fence around the hole at the former Zajicek property to prevent kids from playing in or near there. He also reported that a $62,000 check from an anonymous donor was received for communication equipment in the Police Department. Lastly, he announced that someone has accepted the Tourism/Community Services Director position and will start early July.

Chief Rhoades reported that there was about $1500 in damage at Heritage Canyon and Den Besten Park over Memorial Day weekend. He suspects some kids caused the damaged which included broken windows at the canyon and a bench at the park. Also, he reported that an officer was in an accident this past week totaling his car. The Police Department is down to three squad cars right now.

PW Director Clark reported that the Marina restrooms are being renovated and should be finished in a month.


Ald. Mask reported on the Drives Building Committee. She said they would like to add Jane Orman, Brad Housenga, and Dick Farwell to the committee. Ald. Mask expanded on the many ideas they have for the building and some of the research they have started on how to get funding for this project. She said they would like to clean up the outside and clear the south end of the building for usage.

Ald. Van Kampen said there are eleven abandoned homes in the 3rd Ward and she’d like to speak with the homeowners before she reports anything. She asked to be put on the agenda next meeting.

Ald. Mask explained that the new downtown banners were purchased for $1300 from Visual Imaging. However, the brackets used to install the banners weren’t sufficient to hang the banners properly. Also, a couple days after they were hung a storm with high winds ripped five banners. Visual Imaging did replace the banners, but Ald. Mask is asking the city to purchase new brackets before they are rehung. The cost of 17 brackets is $2200. Mayor Russell said there was $5000 overage in the budget that was designated toward city projects so the money in that account can cover the cost of the brackets.

Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to go into closed session to discuss labor negotiations. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried. The Council entered closed session at 6:51 PM.

Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to exit closed session. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried. The Council exited closed session at 7:14 PM.

With no further business, Ald. Field moved, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 7:14 PM.

Minutes recorded by,

Jackie Wilkin

Fulton City Clerk