Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the City Clerk to call roll. On roll call Mayor Ottens, Ald. Mike VanZuiden, Gene Field, Margaret Crosthwaite, Dan Nederhoff, Sue VanKampen, Barb Mask, Paul Banker and Keith King. Also in attendance Randy Boonstra, Dwayne Hamilton, Dave Bartels, Dan Clark, Tammy Garibay, Debi Ervin, Bill Shirk, Officer Neblung and Dale Sikkema.
The pledge of allegiance was recited; Invocation was given by Pastor Kevin Verhoven.
Visitors at the meeting included; Bea Farwell, Richard Farwell, Phil & Wendy Ottens, Sue Ottens, Carol Kolk, Irma Bland, Joann Wiebenga, June Preloger, Elsie Foster, Ron Bowman, Dave Vogel. Harold & Helen Smith, Clink Kettler, Harlen Wiebenga, Liz Reddington, Jeff DenBesten, Neil & Jane Luker, Dean Brackemyer, Mary Jo Nelson, Irma Swanson, Carol Janvrin, Jill Nederhoff, Jacqueline Covey, Vicki Norman, Heidi Kolk, Jackie Wilkin, Olivia Vanderblek, Leon & Katie Groh, Larry Russell, Judy Holesinger and Chuck Dykstra.
Mayor Ottens asked if there are any questions on the consent agenda; approve revised council meeting minutes March 26, 2018 and special council minutes April 2, 2018 and approve the bill list. With no questions Ald. King motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the consent agenda. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Approve Blessing of the Bikes to be held June 3, 2018 downtown Fulton. With no questions or concerns Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. VanZuiden to approve Blessing of the Bikes event to be held June 3, 2018. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Approve combined aggregation resolution for Rock River Energy. By combining with area towns the City of Fulton will most likely get a lower energy rate. With no questions Ald. King motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the combined aggregation resolution with Rock River Energy. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Approve Ordinance for sale of land to Geronimo Solar Energy, LLC. Ald. Field motioned, seconded by Ald. VanKampen to approve the sale of land to Geronimo Solar Energy, LLC. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Approve Ordinance for Blecha Land Exchange. Heidi Kolk does not agree with the land swap, neighbors she has talked to did not know about the exchange. She does not like the idea of 2-3 parks in town changing/getting rid of, “Are parks not important?” She feels it is awkward to have to bring this up in public about her neighbor. Ald. Field said the shuffleboard court is not used, underutilized. With no further discussion Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the ordinance for the Blecha Land Exchange. Roll call vote (9 yes).
Vote to deny city funding and renovation of the Drive Building. Ald. Banker believes we need to make a decision and move on, this debate has been going on for way to long. Jill Nederhoff asked why the $120,000 from the sale of the RFCC is not being used on the Drives Building. Mayor Ottens said there was no promise what the funds would be used for, never voted on. Wendy Ottens had some questions for the council, agreed to pay for roof after $350,000 raised for renovations and where would funds come from to demo and build new? Ald. VanKampen has offer from Admin Boonstra that guarantees yes vote from council, who is going to pay $680,000 to tear down building and rebuild new. Ald. Nederhoff agrees with Wendy Ottens, the Drives Building group has jumped through many hoops, presented alternate options. We need to put it all on the table and be fair to the committee. Also does the city have the funds to tear down building? Ald. VanZuiden says there is resistance to buying building, the council has not seen any offers, how are we going to build a new building with no money in the budget. Ald. Mask says we need to find common ground to make a decision. Vicki Norman reached out to her alderman and he could not provide hard numbers on the renovation and tear down of the Drives Building, need to have more information on both sides to be able to compare apples to apples and make a decision. Richard Farwell says never asked to use taxpayer money for renovation, just want a chance if it doesn’t work then will give the building back to the city in better shape than received. Mr. Farwell does not think the Mayor should argue with everyone, alderman should be asking questions and making the decisions. Ald. Crosthwaite said the 8 years she has been on the council she has only had 2 people talk to her about the Drives Building but yet there is a large crowd at the meeting. Larry Russell says there has been written and verbal votes discussed and tough decisions to be made, suggest to get a developer involved that knows what he/she is doing. Ald. Field said his parents and grandparents came to Fulton and lived here ever since, his father worked in the building for over 50 years and he himself worked in the building as a young boy but how many museums does one city need? Mayor Ottens suggests we table the vote for now, in 1 month come back have both sides present had numbers/bids, fund stream, and alternatives. Jackie Wilkin wanted to speak for the younger generation, who is going to take care of this building in 15, 20, 30 years? I pay taxes and want to know where it’s going. She believed mapping was a good idea but it was for big dreamers. Debi Ervin believes it is a solid building and has much potential after the roof has been repaired. This building is not a dream but a revenue maker. Ald. King has received many calls to not put city funds to pay for building and does not want to wait any longer to vote. Ald. VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Banker to table the vote until both sides have presented hard numbers/bids to the council. Roll call vote (7 yes, 1 no).
Administrator Boonstra included a synopsis for the council. Council members appreciate the update and information provided in the synopsis. Randy will continue to provide as long as council finds beneficial.
Ald. King motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to adjourn to the Committee of the Whole. The council adjourned the regular meeting at 6:43 PM. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Ald. King motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to adjourn. With voice agreement the council adjourned at 8:36 PM.
Minutes recorded by,
Fulton City Clerk
City of Fulton
Committee of the Whole
April 9, 2018
1. Public Input & Presentations
a. Police Intern- A student from Western IL University is looking to intern with the City of Fulton Police Department. Chief Bartels is looking for the councils approve to allow the intern to come May 15, 2018 to July 15, 2018. He would not be paid; this is needed for him to graduate. He would do daily reports, work with all staff on all shifts.
b. Liz Reddington (Micro Energy)- Provided handout on Micro Energy, requesting a letter in lieu of permit, land is already zoned industrial. Looking for letter because permit is only needed 90 days in advance.
c. Nick Heid/Kurt Dreger- Looking for City of Fulton’s approval to put up new billboard/sign just out of town, just before 4 way stop off of the south bridge. Working with county to also get approval. Put on next agenda for city approval.
d. Cattail Solar/Kooiman Farms- Located 1.5 miles out of town Kooiman Farms looking for approval on special use permit through the county. Asking for City of Fulton’s approval but county still has decision to approve.
e. Senior Meals Funding- Is a budget item, city does not have funds to cover meals. Ald. Mask would like to see meals stay, would like to present with no costs to city. Ald. Mask has talked with Kyle Huebner about continuing meals. Elsie Foster says they never turn anyone away from a meal even if they do not have the money. Elsie says city is losing $8000 because of all the extras for cleaning, pest control, etc. Irma Swanson cannot believe the City of Fulton would get rid of the senior meals, young lady volunteers who is hearing and sight impaired, she does not get paid. Ald. VanZuiden broke down the numbers $8952 deficit, divided by 52 weeks, $172 a week, divided by 2 meals a week, equals $86. In order to break even you would have to get 17 people twice a week to pay $5. 17 people in the city of Fulton is less than 1% of the population. We cannot make decision with emotion but reality.
f. K-9 Funding- Officer Hamilton presented slideshow of the benefits to having a police dog. Ald. VanKampen asked how much training will cost each year. What is the lifespan of the dog? Officer Hamilton said it costs about $150 a year for training and the typical lifespan is 8 years could be more or less. Ald. Nederhoff said we authorized police department to fundraise, voted on 9/18/17. How much fundraising has been completed? I believe more fundraising needs to be done. Officer Hamilton said they have raised $7,000 and $6,000 will have to go towards the down payment. Hoping to receive a grant for $30,000 but will not know until September 2018. Mayor Ottens does not think we should be fundraising for safety, currently Fulton, IL is #1 for meth in the whole state of Illinois. Admin Boonstra has agreed to go out and fundraise for the next month also plans to put the information on our website.
g. Food Pantry- Pastor Stephen was present on behalf of the food pantry; he helps with the over sight of food. There is a need in the town of Fulton for the food pantry. Over 390 people, 120 families and $37,000 a year in food go through the pantry. Currently looking for a location and not finding anything. Currently working out of the township building which is very small. Township has raised $13,000 and a pledge of $10,000. Asking for city to help find the food pantry a new home.
h. Economic Development Loan- DJ is needing a loan for $15,000 which would be paid back over 6 months. Attorney Shirk will make sure city can offer unsecured loan for purchase of materials such as plates, cups and silverware. Once loan is funded he is expected to open within a couple weeks. Put on next agenda for approval.
i. Surplus Sale Ordinance- Need to approve ordinance in order to have surplus sale, put on next agenda for approval.
j. FOP Contract- The meeting with the FOP went well, changes to the contract include full 12 hour shifts, salary increase over next 3 years 2%, 2.25% & 2.5% (11,000 increase). The contract is available to be viewed in Admin Boonstra’s office.
k. Approve Proposed Budget 18/19- Must be approved at the next meeting.
2. Committee of the Whole Synopsis- N/A
3. Committee Chair Reports-
a. Budget Committee- N/A
b. Public Property Committee- N/A
c. Public Safety- N/A
d. Parks & Recreation- N/A
e. Marina- N/A
f. Zoning- Meeting to be held Thursday April 12, 2018 @ 6 PM
g. Economic Development- N/A
4. Mayor’s Report- N/A
5. City Administrator- included in packet
6. Alderman Reports- N/A
7. Public Works- N/A
8. Police Chief- N/A
9. Tourism Coordinator- N/A
10. Adjourn- Ald. King motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to adjourn the Committee of the Whole back to regular council meeting. Roll call vote (8 yes).
Fulton City Clerk