De Immigrant Windmill

City Council Minutes October 19, 2015

OCTOBER 19, 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. Barbara Mask, Gene Field, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen, Len Janis, Mike Van Zuiden and Howard Van Zuiden answered “present.” Ald. Margaret Crosthwaite was absent. Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, Bill Shirk- City Attorney, Dan Clark- PW Director, Regina Lehman- Tourism & Community Services Director, Amanda Fosdick, City Treasurer, Ron Shear- Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman, Clink Kettler- Zoning Officer, and Casey Simpson- Patrol Officer.

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

Mayor Russell asked if there were any communication from visitors. Barb Suehl-Janis invited Police Officers, EMT, and Firefighters to attend a dinner November 5, 2015 hosted by Friends for Charity. She also asked Mayor Russell and the Aldermen to consider volunteering at the dinner.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions or comments on the last regular City Council meeting minutes or the Public Hearing on October 8, 2015. With no further discussion Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Janis to approve the October 5, 2015 regular Council Meeting minutes. Roll call vote/7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Field to approve the Public Hearing minutes from October 8, 2015. Roll call vote/ 6 yes, 1 absent, 1 pass/ motion carried.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions or comments on the Bill List. Ald. Field asked about a charge from Civil Contractors. PW Director Clark clarified that it was for extra work while they were in town throughout the year. PW Clark also explained an expense to Sloan Implement was for repairing the city’s backhoe. With no further questions Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Mike Van Zuiden to approve the Bill List. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.

Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions or comments on the Treasurer’s Report. With no further questions Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.

Mayor Russell addressed the first item on the agenda and invited Jeff DenBesten, Timken Drives’ Plant Manager to speak. Mr. DenBesten requested the property located at 812 18th Ave in Fulton be rezoned from residential to industry because they have purchased that property and plan to extend their shipping dock. Additionally, Timken requested the city vacate approximately 100 feet of the eastern end of the 800 block of 18th Street that dead ends at the Timken Drives property line. Administrator Cannon told Mr. DenBesten he’ll have to work with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Zoning Officer Kettler gave him some forms to start the process.

Second, the Fulton Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Ron Shear presented a recommendation to the Council to grant a zoning variance to Zaye Bass and Paul Banker. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the zoning variance for Zaye Bass, owner of Fulton Rod and Bike Barn. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried. Next, Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Howard Van Zuiden to approve the variance for additional space for Paul Banker. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.

Third, Administrator Cannon highlighted areas of the final TIF agreement with Dispensary Holding Company LLC. Dan Dolan, the developer, was present with his lawyer, Greg Yaeger. Mr. Dolan told the council that he has decided to move forward and build all three units of the building now. He explained that he doesn’t have businesses lined up yet to rent those two additional units but both will have a drive up window for a possible restaurant type business. The Council was thrilled to hear he is moving forward with the whole project and look forward to what will come.

Fourth, Administrator Cannon explained that the state has halted distribution of certain revenues shared with municipalities due to the budget impasse in Springfield. The loss to Fulton will be about $18,000 per month. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden asked if there are any precautions the city should be taking now while we’re waiting for the budget to be resolved. Mayor Russell said the city has 6 months in reserves but we do not want to get down to 3 or 4 months reserve. He said they should work on a contingency plan at the next Budget Meeting.

Fifth, Administrator Cannon explained that the City of Fulton has five employees who are eligible for early retirement under the IMRF Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) program. The Executive Committee met and discovered that offering this program could potentially create a $563,083 liability for the City of Fulton and the city doesn’t have the funds. Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Mask to deny IMRF ERI program. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.

Sixth, members of Fulton Forward proposed changing 4th St. from 10th Ave. to 13th Ave. from two-way to one-way flowing north. A public hearing was held October 8, 2015 where citizens of Fulton were able to voice their opinions on the matter. Ald. Howard Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Janis to leave the road two-way traffic. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.

Seventh, the council discussed a timeline for modifying downtown parking to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Administrator Cannon said the project is estimated to cost $140,000. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden said this should be high on the priority list but maybe not right now because of our state’s financial situation. Mayor Russell said this will be discussed during Capital Budget Planning.

Eighth, the council discussed possibly restricting oversized vehicle parking in angled parking stalls in downtown Fulton. Oversized vehicles cause southbound traffic to swerve into the opposing lane of traffic and create a limited sight distance hazard at downtown intersections. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden raised the question of whether putting up restrictions on vehicle size would be very welcoming to visitors. Ald. Mask asked Patrol Officer Simpson if there are many accidents reported due to this issue. Officer Simpson said there hasn’t been an accident downtown because of oversized vehicles to his knowledge. If there was an ordinance in place the challenge would be how to enforce it and how often the Police Department should check the vehicles parked downtown. Officer Simpson pointed out it could be challenging to police such an ordinance. Mayor Russell said to keep this item on the agenda for next meeting and look at similar ordinances from other cities.

Ninth, the council discussed traffic enforcement on 4th Street. Ald. Van Kampen said business owners and employees need to park on side streets or behind the building and not on 4th Street. It’s the individual business’ responsibility to police their own employees.

Lastly, Ald. Mask updated the council on progress to-date and plans going forward for the Drives building. Ald. Mask provided a handout to council members with the Exploratory Group’s finding over the last eight months. She also stated they had a professional give them an estimate on tearing the building down and it would cost $130,000 - $150,000. Mayor Russell said they need to come up with a business plan. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden said he wasn’t comfortable with the city taking it on and asked who would manage the building? Ald. Janis said it would take at least $2 million to renovate the upstairs. Ald. Nederhoff agreed that if there is a lot of interest in the building that this should be left in the private sector. Mayor Russell thanked Ald. Mask for all of the work they have put into this project.


Mayor Russell invited Bob Whitten to share an update on the permanent stage being built at Heritage Canyon. Mr. Whitten explained that because of inclement weather for the Bluegrass Festival the project ran short on funds. He said that if he had until spring he could fundraise funds for the remainder needed for the project which is about $800- $900. Ald. Mask asked the council if the city should loan Mr. Whitten the funds to finish the project before winter so no work thus far will be ruined with the agreement that Mr. Whitten will reimburse the city once funds are raised. Ald. Mike agreed that the city should help the project move forward. Mr. Whitten thanked the council for working with him on this issue.

Second, The Illinois State Attorney General office has approved our recommendations to correct handicap parking accessibility violations at the Robert Fulton Community Center and the River Bend School District office parking lots. This will involve making stalls the correct size and including the proper signage.


Mayor Russell included his written report.


Administrator Cannon included his written report. He highlighted a fact sheet in his report for the Industrial Center which will be the start of a business plan for developing that land.


Kyle Kopf, caretaker of the Andersen Nature Center, presented a PowerPoint presentation to the council explaining what has been happening at the center over the last two years since the city acquired the property. He specifically went over programs available and financials. The city currently spends about $300- $400 per month on the property. Mr. Kopf hopes to make the Andresen Nature Center a Not-For-Profit organization with officers on the Board that are well-known in the community and are business savvy. Mayor Russell urged Mr. Kopf that setting up the Not-For-Profit is necessary and would like to see that happen in the near future. Mayor Russell thanked Mr. Kopf for the update.

Ald. Mike Van Zuiden motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to enter closed session to discuss collective bargaining issues and purchase/sale of public owned real estate. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried. The council entered closed session at 7:52 PM.

Ald. Janis motioned, seconded by Ald. Field to exit closed session. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried. The council exited closed session at 8:13 PM.

With no further business, Ald. Mike Van Zuiden moved, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 8:13 PM.

Minutes recorded by,

Jackie Wilkin
Fulton City Clerk