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City Council Minutes August 17, 2015

AUGUST 17, 2015

Mayor Russell called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed Regina Lehman, Tourism and Community Services Director, to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barbara 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, Bill Shirk- City Attorney, Dan Clark- Public Works Director, Clink Kettler- Zoning Officer, James Rhoades- Chief of Police, and Amanda Fosdick- City Treasurer.

The pledge of allegiance was recited. Pastor Wayne Wiersema gave the invocation.

Mayor Russell asked if there was any communication from visitors. Renee Holmes, Owner of Krumpets Bakery, spoke about the one-way and said that she doesn’t know what the impact on business would be but it seems to be a good idea due to larger vehicles parking and sticking out into the lane. She cited that cars do not stop at the stop sign in front of her business and also thinks being compliant with the ADA would be positive. Kristi Cannon and Wendy Ottens from the Fulton Forward group were in attendance with the results from the survey of the downtown businesses to share with the council or anyone who had questions. This information had been reported previously at a council meeting and Mrs. Cannon stated that 21 businesses were surveyed by herself, Wendy Ottens, Larry Russell, Jane Luker, and Neal Luker. There were 16 businesses in favor of changing the downtown to a one-way street. Ald. Van Kampen requested to see comments that were shared on the surveys and also inquired whether or not any 3rd Street businesses were surveyed. Mrs. Ottens stated that it was basically a “yes”/”no” survey and that there wasn’t a space for comments but there were some noted. Mrs. Ottens also said none of the 3rd Street businesses were surveyed at this time; it was mainly a 3-block area on 4th that was included in the survey. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden asked if the goal for the one-way was to add more spaces or was there a different reason for this request? Mrs. Cannon answered that it was to make our downtown more attractive and spacious. April Edwards-Eshelman, Director of the Fulton Chamber of Commerce, stated that she thought that the focus should be on ADA compliance and that we have municipal lots that could be marked and focus on adding more parking in other areas. Mayor Russell closed the discussion and stated that there needed to be a public hearing on this.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions or comments on the last regular meeting minutes. With no further discussion Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Janis to approve the August 3, 2015 Regular Council Meeting minutes. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Next, Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions on the bill list. Ald. Mask asked about an item on page 5 which was the plaque for the community park. Administrator Cannon said the plaque was being donated by the VanDamme family and that they will reimburse the city. Ald. Field asked about an item that was a service call to the waste water treatment plant. With no further discussion Ald. Field motioned, seconded by Ald. Mike Van Zuiden to approve the bill list. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Next Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions on the Treasurer’s Report.
Ald. Mask asked City Treasurer Fosdick if she would point out variances to the council and give an explanation for the variance to help the council analyze the report. Mayor Russell said that on page 7 the 2015 data needs to be added. Ms. Fosdick stated she will have it updated because of the audit and will have it for the next city council meeting. Ald. Mike VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the Treasurer’s Report.

Mayor Russell skipped ahead on the agenda to address a request brought to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Carl Conover, Fulton resident at 811 12th Avenue, was present to appeal the denial of his building permit which he attained for an additional 6.5 foot, side yard setback, for the purpose of constructing a garage. He stated that he was issued a permit on June 1st and picked up the permit on June 15th. He began work to demolish his old garage and also ran a trench and in the process accidently exhumed remains of a neighbor’s pet. A complaint was made to the zoning board, so the permit was revisited, the zoning board voted 4 to 2 against his original request, and he was told he could not continue with his project. Zoning board members Clink Kettler and Ron Shear were present to answer questions. Mr. Kettler could not recall when the complaint was made but after sorting out the details, it was the council’s decision to overrule the zoning board’s decision and allow Mr. Conover to build his garage. Ald. Mike VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to reissue the building permit to Mr. Conover. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

City Clerk, Jackie Wilkin, arrived and began taking minutes for the remainder of the meeting.

Mayor Russell directed everyone back to the first item on the agenda which was a resolution to dedicate the name of the new public park in Fulton’s Third Ward as “Community Park” to commemorate the outpouring of donations and support from the Fulton community. Ald. Van Kampen said someone had suggested calling the park “Neighborhood Community Park”. The council agreed to the name so Ald. Van Kampen motioned, seconded by Ald. Janis to name the new park Neighborhood Community Park. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried. The park dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM.

Second, Jean Roeder is requesting street closures to conduct a run to raise funds on behalf of the Fulton Township for restoration work at the Calvary Cemetery. The run is scheduled in conjunction with the Fulton Fall Festival and will start at 8:00 AM on September 26th. Mayor Russell said the route will need to be discussed with Chief Rhoades. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the street closure request with Chief Rhoades approval of the route. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Third, Administrator Cannon summarized the Resolution Directing the Sale of Certain Real Estate which declares the city-owned property at 407 24th Ave as “surplus” and allows the city to sell the parcel at terms determined by the City Council to be in the best interest of the city, but at no less than 80% of its appraised value. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the resolution. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Fourth, Administrator Cannon said Public Works is requesting to purchase 2015 Chevrolet truck to replace a 1993 truck with 170,000 miles and is used to check buildings and stations seven days a week. Money will come from the vehicle replacement fund which Public Works has been paying in to for 3 years. This expense is in the budget. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the request to purchase a new vehicle. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Fifth, PW Director Clark requested additional funds to repair the clarifier at the WWTP. The gear reduction unit has been replaced but further repairs are needed to get the unit in working condition. Funds will come from the water and sewer reserves. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the request for additional funds. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.

Last, Mayor Russell said there have been numerous complaints from Fulton residents about the impact of exterior lighting from neighboring properties causing a nuisance. Mayor Russell said specifically lights from the Public Works building and Timken Drives are being complained about. He asked if any Aldermen have heard similar complaints. Ald. Field said residents in that area should be aware that those types of businesses will have security lights. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden asked if there were any ordinances that the city could impose. City Attorney Shirk said this issue came up in 2004 or 2005 and he drafted a light ordinance, but it was never passed.


Mayor Russell included a written report. He also explained Exelon’s situation and the possibly of it closing.


Administrator Cannon summarized his written report which included possibilities for the one-way downtown, beautification to the downtown estimates, economic development, and a recap of the American Queen visit. While discussing the need for a public hearing in regards to the one-way downtown, Ald. Mask suggested waiting until January when the council does their goal setting, Ald. Van Kampen agreed. However, Ald. Mike Van Zuiden and Ald. Crosthwaite disagreed and thought the hearing should be done now while it’s a hot topic and the information from the hearing could be used at their goal planning meeting in January. Mayor Russell asked that it be put on the next city council meeting agenda to pick a date and location for a public hearing.


Public Works Director Clark included his written report.

Police Chief Rhoades also included his written report and reminded everyone that school starts this week.

TCS Director Lehman reported on the American Queen visiting Fulton. She said the volunteers at the Drives building did a great job, however, there was a missed opportunity getting the visitors into the downtown to spend money because their time there was so short. She said they may possibly ask businesses to bring merchandise to the Drives building for the next visits.

Ald. Mask announced that Sunday, September 20, 2015 will be the Martin House Dedication. Also, she reported that two grants have been written for the Drives building and the committee is looking into having a fundraiser.

With no further business, Ald. Crosthwaite moved, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 7:04 PM.

Minutes recorded by,

Jackie Wilkin
Fulton City Clerk