CITY OF FULTON
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
February 23, 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, Wes Letcher, Mike Van Zuiden, and Howard Van Zuiden answered “present.” Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, Bill Shirk – City Attorney, Melissa Wiebenga- Tourism/Community Services Director, James Rhoades- Chief of Police, Amanda Fosdick- City Treasurer, and Dan Clark- Director of Public Works.
The pledge of allegiance was recited. Pastor John gave the invocation.
Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions on the last regular meeting minutes or the special meeting minutes. Ald. Mask wanted to clarify that in the last regular meeting minutes it stated Ald. Van Kampen was at a “wine event” however it was actually an “art event”. With no further questions or comments Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the February 2, 2015 regular council meeting minutes and the February 7, 2015 special council meeting minutes. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Next, Mayor Russell invited Andy Meyers, Recreation Broad Co-President, to explain to the council the board’s plan to have a parade. Mr. Meyers said the Rec Board is planning a parade from the Elementary School to the Kiwanis Fields on May 17th. Once arriving at the fields there would be baseball games that all the baseball and softball participants could play, along with other activities to participate in at the fields. This event would be a way to kick-off baseball/softball season for the youth in Fulton. The council loved the idea; however the described route may be too long. Chief of Police Rhoades said the city doesn’t have enough barricades to go through that many intersections but they can come up with a route that would mirror the Dutch Days and Homecoming Parade routes and still conclude at Kiwanis Fields. Mayor Russell said the Board should continue to work with Chief Rhoades as they amend their route. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the parade request with the understanding the parade route will be amended with the help of Chief Rhoades. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Next Mayor Russell asked the Council if they had any questions on the Bill List. Administrator Cannon said they have six interviews for City Hall Building Clerk this week. After brief discussion Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to approve the Bill List. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Next, Mayor Russell asked the Council if they had any questions on the Treasurer’s Report. Amanda Fosdick, City Treasurer had no additional comments to her report. Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. Howard Van Zuiden to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
The first item for consideration, Mayor Russell asked City Attorney Shirk to summarize. Shirk explained Fulton obtained Worker’s Compensation insurance from IPRF during 2012. IPRF billed the city an additional premium of $13,118 following a payroll audit in 2013. The city challenged the audit but did not obtain resolution to the disputed premium change. IPRD has now retained legal counsel and is threatening to sue if payment is not made. City options are to fight the additional charges in court or pay the bill. City Attorney Shirk recommended the city pay the bill because they would have to get a lawyer in Cook County and the lawyer fees would be quite costly and there is no guarantee the city would even win. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Letcher to approve the payment to IPRF. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Second, Mayor Russell said Fulton city ordinance calls for five (5) standing committees: Budget, Public Property, Planning and Records, Public Safety, and Parks and Recreation. Mayor Russell said the structure of our committees have not been updated since 1982 and there needs to be more structure and guidelines. He is not looking to add more or get rid of any committees, but to organize and bring structure to the committees we already have. Mayor Russell appointed Ald. Howard Van Zuiden to work with himself and Administrator Cannon to develop this structure and they will bring information back to the Council in May.
Third, Administrator Cannon summarized that on December 8, 2014, the Fulton City Council denied a rezoning request by Mr. Donald Westcott to rezone his property from A-1/R-2 to A-R because the rezoning might jeopardize a proposed medical cannabis cultivation center in the Fulton Industrial Center. The Whiteside County Board voted to table the rezoning vote at the request of both the City of Fulton and Mr. Westcott until the state of Illinois ruled on the proposed development. The state has now ruled that the cultivation center will not be located in Fulton, and Mr. Westcott is resubmitting his rezoning request to the Whiteside County Board. Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Letcher to approve Mr. Westcott’s rezoning request. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Fourth, City Administrator Cannon explained to the Council that Fulton is facing three issues that require adjusting W/S rates: 1) increased costs in W/S debt service, 2) inadequate W/S reserves, and 3) adjustments for inflation. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden asked about the money sitting in the depreciation fund and Administrator Cannon explained that most of that money will be used for upcoming maintenance to our water and sewer infrastructure. Public Works Director Clark added that there is a pump and well down now that will need to be repaired that haven’t even been factored in yet. Ald. Crosthwaite motioned, seconded by Ald. Mask to approve water/sewer rate adjustment. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Fifth, the City of Fulton must pass a resolution approving Motor Fuel Tax estimates for approved projects. Public Works Director Clark explained to the Council the resolution. Ald. Field motioned, seconded by Ald. Letcher to approve Motor Fuel Tax Resolution. Roll call vote/ all yes/ motion carried.
Mayor Russell summarized his written report on water/sewer rate adjustments, current year budgets, next year budget proposals and development incentives. Mayor Russell also announced he is considering options for proposed changes to our committee system. In the interim, he asked Ald. Mike Van Zuiden and Ald. Barbara Mask to sit in on future ad hoc Insurance Committee meetings. They will then meet with our Administrator to develop a recommended benefit package to be included in our next operating budget. Mayor Russell also expressed his gratitude to the entire Council for their kind words with the loss of his brother Leon.
City Administrator Cannon summarized his written report on Electrical Aggregation contract renewal, a lease agreement for a boat sales/repair business at the Fulton Marina, and the Budget Workshop to be held Monday March 2, 2015 immediately following the regular City Council meeting.
Ald. Field asked if there was an update on the Zajicek development. City Attorney Shirk said he will have information to update the Council on March 2nd.
Chief of Police Rhoades submitted his written report with no additional comments.
Ald. Van Kampen updated the Council on the Marina. She shared that the lease agreement for the Marina tenant will be drawn up by the end of the week for the Council to review at their next meeting and that the business name will be “The Great River Marina”. Ald. Van Kampen also shared that the Marina website has been updated, new signed are up, landscaping will be done this spring, and they may possibly get bike racks for boaters who dock and would like to explore the city. Upcoming events are a meeting March 11th for slip renters at Manny’s Too and a possible boat float or Parade in late August.
Administrator Cannon summarized the Finance Committee’s written report on Water/sewer rates, the depletion of the Economic Development Fund (Fund 19), and the deficit on the Capital Projects Fund (Fund 31).
Tourism/Community Services Director Wiebenga announced the American Queen ship will dock in Clinton/Fulton five times this summer. This means approximately 200 people (each stop) may venture off the boat into our downtown which will be great for our economy.
Ald. Mask reported the Drives Building committee will meet one more time this Saturday at noon for one last tour of the Drives Building. After this Saturday they will put together a report on the feedback they have received from the community and share at a future Council meeting.
Ald. Mike Van Zuiden, Ald. Mask, and Karen Abbott met with Brian Fritz to discuss senior housing with a developer in the Quad Cities for senior housing. They had the opportunity to tour four properties. The developer said Fulton would be a great candidate for the type of housing he provides.
Lastly, Mayor Russell asked if an Alderman would volunteer to be on a Prison Advisory Board. This would keep our Council aware of the amount of new families moving into our area and other valuable information.
A motion was made by Ald. Howard Van Zuiden, seconded by Ald. Mask to go into closed session to discuss personnel. Roll call vote/ all yes / motion carried. Council went into closed session at 7:15 PM.
Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Field to return to main session. Roll call vote/ all yes / motion carried. Council returned to main session at 7:55 PM.
With no further business, Ald. Van Kampen moved, seconded by Ald. Mask to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.
Minutes recorded by,
Fulton City Clerk