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City Council Special Budget Workshop Minutes March 7, 2015

MARCH 7, 2015

Mayor Russell called the meeting to order at 8:00 AM and directed the city clerk to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barb Mask, Gene Field, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen, Wes Letcher, and Mike Van Zuiden answered “present.” Those absent were Ald. Margaret Crosthwaite and Howard Van Zuiden. Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, James Rhoades- Chief of Police, Dan Clark-Public Works Director, Melissa Wiebenga- Tourism/Community Services Director, and Tammy Garibay- Utility Clerk.

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

There was no communication from visitors.

Mayor Russell thanked all those who were in attendance for the Saturday morning meeting. He then asked City Administrator Cannon to explain the budget.

Administrator Cannon started off by reviewing the budget shortfalls. Currently there are three areas with insufficient funds: 1) General Fund Operations 2) Economic Development loan and 3) 2012C Bond (Capital Projects Fund). The total shortfall is $107,021, however, if the 2012C Reserves is utilized the shortfall is $82,571.

Administrator Cannon then reviewed the list of additional projects which include: Hiring a Peace Corp Fellow, Whiteside Public Transportation Donation, CRDC Vision 2020, Regional Traffic Study (with Clinton, IA), and Remote Tornado Siren at RFCC. These projects totaled $26,100. Mayor Russell said what’s concerning are the ongoing fiscal issues rather than the one time projects. Ald. Mask asked what will happen to the projects and/or programming the Peace Corp Fellow develops once he/she leaves. She agrees that this would be a great asset for Fulton, but wants a more specific plan for what this person will do and how their work with carry on once they are gone. Tourism Director Wiebenga said she envisions this person organizing Mapping Groups and starting programs that the volunteers in our community would be equipped to take over. Ald. Mask also asked if Whiteside Public Transportation is meeting our citizens’ needs.

Next, Administrator Cannon listed the Capital Improvement Projects. Sewer video and cleaning are currently being done and sewer lining will hopefully be done with the DCEO grant.

Next, Administrator Cannon discussed long-range fiscal issues and concerns. The first concern is raising healthcare costs. He included a packet with information comparing City of Fulton employees’ compensation (Base salary, benefits, intangibles) to surrounding communities. Overall Fulton’s total compensation is 5% above average to similar communities in our region. Healthcare is rising nationally 6.5% per year and for Fulton 11.3% per year. By the year 2018, the government is implementing a Cadillac tax that would impact the City of Fulton for three employees, costing the City of Fulton $2212 by 2019. Administrator Cannon is recommending the City of Fulton change health contribution policy to 100/50. The City of Fulton would pay 100% employee health insurance premiums and the employee contributes 50% toward family health insurance costs. This plan would be equitable to all employees, reduces health insurance costs, and aligns Fulton’s total compensation to average total compensation within the region. He also describes how they would implement this plan over a 2-year phase in period.

The second concern is the revenues from the 3/4% sales tax is insufficient to pay bond debt on the 2012C Bond. He suggested selling two residential properties this year would help servicing this debt.

The third concern is Governor Rauner proposed cutting LGDF by 50%. LGDF is the portion of state income tax collected from Illinois residents and returned to local governments. In 2016, Fulton’s estimated LGDF is $339,669 and if this is implemented it would reduce General Fund revenues by $172,309. A contingency plan needs to be developed if this is implemented.

Lastly, Administrator Cannon asked PW Director Clark to discuss capital projects. PW Director Clark said the list he provided were suggested projects from an engineer a few years ago. The Council discussed the several options listed and highlighted a few that would be pleasing to the community.

Mayor Russell closed by saying he believed investing $10,000 in the CDRC would be a good investment and to have their help really market the Industrial Center would create more revenue for the city.

With no further business, Ald. Van Field moved, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen, to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 AM.

Minutes recorded by,

Jackie Wilkin
Fulton City Clerk