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City Council Meeting Minutes September 6, 2016

City of Fulton
Regular Council Meeting Minutes
September 6, 2016

Mayor Russell called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the city clerk to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barbara Mask, Gene Field, Margaret Crosthwaite, Sue VanKampen, Wes Letcher, Dan Nederhoff, Mike VanZuiden and Howard VanZuiden answered, “present.” Also in attendance were, Ed Cannon (City Administrator), Bill Shirk (City Attorney), Dan Clark (Public Works Director), Regina Lehman (Tourism Director), Dean Brackemyer (Zoning Board Chairman), James Rhoades (Chief of Police) and Chuck Dykstra (Township Supervisor).

The pledge of allegiance was recited. Pastor Roy Ann Mathews gave the invocation.

During the communication from visitors all we present regarding a topic on the agenda. Visitors included; Linda North, Barb Suehl-Janis, Jessica Schmidt, Janelle Clayton, Ron Shear, Clink Kettler, Marian Kettler, Jan & Carol Faber, Doug Holesinger and Randy Boonstra.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions regarding the items listed on the consent agenda. Items for consideration August 15, 2016 and August 29, 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes, Nomination of Dean Brackemyer as Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman, Recognition of past and present Zoning Board of Appeals members. Ald. Mask noted a correction to the meeting minutes in paragraph 3, as it was a Windmill Realty Appreciation for Barb Suehl-Janis’ business. With no further questions or concerns Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to approve the consent agenda. Roll call vote (8 yes).

New Business

The Zoning Board of Appeals approved two requests. The first request was a special use permit for Awesometown MVP to operate as an educational art and cultural center at 514 13th Ave. The city council members came to the conclusion there should be a duration to the special use permit and revisit it in 1 year to make sure everything is still going well. Attorney Shirk will be adding that into the permit before turning it over to Awesometown MVP. With no further questions Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. VanKampen to approve the special use permit with the option to reassess in 1 year. The second request was from Jessica Schmidt asking to put up a wooden picket fence 48” tall around her property to keep her son in the yard. The variance was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Jessica is looking to place the picket fence on city property, which will be approximately 13 ft.; currently there is a hedge of bushes that extend out to where she plans on placing the fence. With recommendation from Attorney Shirk they can grant Mrs. Schmidt a permissive ordinance to put up the fence but at any time and for any reason the city may request her to take down or move the fence. Linda North from the Zoning Board clarified if Mrs. Schmidt sold the property the new buyers would be aware of the permissive ordinance and it shall be passed on to the new owners. With no further questions or concerns Ald. VanKampen motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve Jessica to build a picket fence 48” high and approximately 13 ft. onto city property. Roll call vote (8 yes).

The Zoning Board of Appeals requests to have meetings on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM in lieu of random dates and times. It is not up to the City Council to decide when the Zoning Board will hold meetings, sending the request back to the Zoning Board for them to decide on date and time of meeting. It was brought to everyone’s attention because of notice hearing people may have to wait longer than 30 days to appeal their request and for the board to take into consideration. With no further discussion the council moved on to the next item on the agenda.

Doug Holesinger was present on behalf of the Unity Christian School to request the city to waive the fee for putting up a fence on their property. Doug made the council aware they have combined buildings and moving the fence from the old elementary property to the high school where everyone will be. They want to put the fence up around the playground equipment to keep the kids away from the road. With no further questions or concerns Ald. M. VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Letcher to waive the fee for the construction of a fence. Roll call vote (8 yes).

Chuck Dykstra, Fulton Township Supervisor is requesting for a Temporary Cemetery Restorer to park his recreational vehicle at the Township Cemetery Building while restoring graves. They would like to allow him to leave his RV parked there until he travels for the winter. Ald. M VanZuiden asked if this would require a special use permit, he also asked how many of the neighbors Chuck talked to about the RV sitting on the lot. With no further discussion, the council moved to the next item on the agenda.

The next item on the agenda is a Winter Storage Contract with Doug’s Mobile Services, LLC. Doug is currently renting the building at the marina to repair boats and has the experience and ability to prepare boats for winter storage. Director Clark said this will save the city $8,000 in labor costs and $5000 insurance premium fees. If the contract is voided the city gets it back and equipment must be in good working condition. During the winter the city has agreed to store the truck and stands to keep out of harsh weather. It was suggested the contract run concurrent with the current lease for the building. With no further questions or concerns Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Letcher to approve the Winter Storage Contract with Doug’s Mobile Services, LLC. Roll call vote (8 yes).

Barb Suehl-Janis was present to discuss the Fulton Chamber of Commerce year-end financial update and Executive Director search. With all of the new events April started and continuous events the Chamber of Commerce does not have enough money to keep going. They are currently trying to get more members but finding it hard to do so. The city council would need a written request from the chamber by the beginning of next year stating how much money they are needing. The chamber is still looking for a new Executive Director and finding that difficult as well since the salary is $20,000 with no insurance option. They did have one good applicant but was requesting at least $25,000 and insurance for her two young kids. Barb asked if anyone knows a good candidate for the position to talk with him or her and send his or her information on to her for review. With no further questions or concerns the council moved to the next item on the agenda.

The last item on the agenda is the Ordinance Establishing the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone, County of Whiteside, Enterprise Zone Designation, and Property Tax Abatement. With no questions or concerns Ald. M. VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Mask to approve the ordinance set forth by Whiteside County. Roll call vote (8 yes).


Martin House Museum Report was included.

Randy Boonstra was present to discuss updates with TCEDA. TCEDA was originally started by Jo-Carroll and is now on its own as a non-profit organization. Currently they are conducting a Northwest Transportation Study, how people travel by car, boat and train. Randy asked the City of Fulton to become a member of TCEDA, which is a $500 minimum. City council members request it be put on the next agenda for a vote.

Ald. Mask and Ald. M. VanZuiden are still conducting their research on credit cards, they are waiting on legal information from Attorney Shirk to finish up findings and present to the rest of the council.

It was brought to council members attention the rock side of the dike is becoming overgrown. They asked if something is being done about it. That part of the dike is taken care of by the flood control district, which the Wherry Bros. take care of. Jim Wherry no longer has the sprayer to keep it under control so they had to have someone come in and spray it this year, which has already been done.

With no further business, Ald. Field motioned, seconded by Ald. H. VanZuiden to adjourn. With voice agreement the council adjourned at 6:52 PM.

Minutes recorded by,

Lindsey Renkes
Fulton City Clerk