Meeting was called to order by Mayor Wendy Ottens at 5:30 p.m. On roll call, Alderpersons Banker, Mask, VanKampen, Wilkin, Boonstra and Brondyke were present. Alderperson King was absent. City Administrator Clark, Chief Neblung, Sargent Hamilton, Officer Wherry, Public Works Director, Sikkema and City Treasurer, Amanda Fosdick, were also in attendance.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
New Appointments by Mayor Wendy (with Council consent) were announced. Rebecca Huizenga as City Attorney and Tori Wade as City Clerk. Mayor Wendy recited the Oath of Office to the two new appointments.
Recognition of Volunteers
Alderperson VanKampen introduced the owners of The Brunch House, Adim and Senala Dzeladini. The couple introduced their two sons. Alderperson VanKampen thanked them for their donations and contributions to the City. They were given a gift card for their ongoing community support. Mayor Wendy Ottens also thanked them and added that they take the role of citizens of our Fulton area very seriously. You are at the events and fundraisers, we appreciate your involvement as business owners in Fulton.
Communications from Visitors - None.
Presentations - Sauk Impact Program presented by Dr. Darryl Hogue, Superintendent of River Bend Schools District.
Dr. Hogue explained the Impact Program and the role River Bend has played in the implementation of this program. He asks that the City vote to use ARPA funds to donate to the program. Stating the best part is that it does not cost the taxpayers any money.
He then introduced Virginia Peterson and her grandson, Brandon Peterson, a freshman at Fulton High School. Virginia fully supports the use of City ARPA funds to help support the Impact Program. Her grandson has been gaining Impact volunteer hours by working during Dutch Days and helping out at Heritage Canyon.
Mayor Wendy hours do you need to meet your Impact requirements, Brandon stated he was done. asked how many volunteer hours are required to qualify for the Impact Program. Brandon stated 25 hours a year are required.
Dan Portz, River Bend School District School Board President, spoke next on the Impact Program. He stated his son is involved in the program and that he gains his volunteer hours by cleaning the Albany Church. He said the City’s non-profits organizations benefit from the help from the Impact student volunteers and the students gain their required hours. Dan supports the use of City ARPA funds to support the Impact program.
Fulton High School Principal, Bob Gosch, also spoke about the Impact Program as well as 3 high school students that are participating in the program right now. The students each spoke of their experiences being in the Impact program.
A visitor asked the question of who is the leader of the Impact Program. Fulton High School Principal, Bob Gosch, said he was leading the program at FHS. Mr. Gosch was also asked what was considered valid for earning credit hours. He said there needs to be an adult present, whether it be himself, a coach or other adult that can document that the student did volunteer.
Alderperson Barb Mask welcomed the Impact program students to seek volunteer hours at any of Fulton’s attractions.
Alderperson VanKampen asked who keeps track of the hours the students who volunteer? Bob Gosch, said that he does as well as Sauk and other adults such as coaches.
Alderperson Wilkin asked about funding for the Impact program. Dr. Hogue said that was a question that needed to be answered by Dr. Cortez, Impact Program Director.
Alderperson Wilkin asked how the program was induced at Fulton High School?
Mayor Wendy stated that this program was started by a one million dollar donation from a Fulton resident. It’s going to take twenty million to sustain the program for future students. Dr. Hogue responded saying that the program will rely on private donations.
Alderperson VanKampen asked if donations from Fulton will go directly to Fulton students. Dr. Hogue replied, yes. She also asked what is the cost to go to Sauk? Mayor Wendy said that she believed it was around $3,000.00 per year when her daughters attended Sauk.
Alerperson Wilkin asked how many area towns have already donated to this program?
Dr. Hogue and Principal Gosch then gave an in-depth explanation of what dual credit means. Stating it is the same as getting 2 years of college at no cost to the student.
Alderperson Banker asked what is the percentage of students who have dropped out of the program. Dr. Hogue said it is a very low number.
Mayor Wendy stated that she fully supports the Impact program, but would like to meet with Dr, Cortez again to clarify some questions..
School Board President, Portz added that he would like a list of specific questions the Council may have and he would be glad to address those questions.
Mayor Wendy made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
Motion to approve the City Council Meeting Minutes from April 24, 2023, meeting with revisions.
Motion to approve April 24, 2023, Bill List.
Motion to approve by Alderperson Brondke, seconded by Alderperson VanKampen.
On Roll Call: All yes, Alderperson King, absent,
Approve Ordinance annexing certain territory to the City of Fulton, Whiteside County, Illinois (Sloan Implement)
The Question was asked why did they request to be annexed into the City of Fulton. CA, Clark, stated that they tried to get a building permit through Whiteside County, but found it a very difficult procedure as have other Whiteside County towns with the same requests. Therefore, they came to the City and asked to be annexed into Fulton City limits in order to apply for their building permit.
Motion to approve the request of Sloan Implement being annexed into the City of Fulton.
Motion to approve - Alderperson Brondyke
Seconded by Alderperson Mask
On Roll Call: All yes, Alderperson King, absent.
Mayor Wendy announced her appointment for the City’s various Committees.
Committee appointments are as follows:
Economic Development: Alderperson Brondyke, Chair; Alderperson Wilkin
Finance: Alderperson Mask, Chair; Alderperson Brondyke
Personnel: Alderperson Banker, Chair; Alderperson Boonstra, Alderperson Van Kampen and Unappointed Alderperson.
Parks and Rec: Alderperson Van Kampen, Chair; Alderperson Wilkin
Public Safety: Alderperson King, Chair; Alderperson Boonstra
Marina: Alderperson Mask, Chair; Unappointed Alderperson.
Mayor Wendy is actively seeking a replacement for the open Alderperson position.
Mayor Wendy explained the ReNee Grant is the appointed Deputy City Clerk. She lives out of town, so that is why she is Deputy City Clerk. ( the same reason, Tammy Garibay was Deputy City Clerk, as she lives out of town) Tori Wade lives within the City limits of Fulton and is in compliance to be City Clerk. ReNee’s duties will be to sign necessary documents in the absence of Tor Wade.
Motion to Approve: Alderperson Wilkin, seconded by Alderperon VanKampen
Roll Call: All Yes, Alderperson King absent.
Committee of the Whole Discussion:
Drives Park -
Alderperson Wilkin addressed her concerns over the safety issues at Drives Park in Fulton. She said people should not be parking in the grass along the road on 16th Ave. It is so busy during sporting events that it is a safety hazard to everyone in attendance. She stated that there is no structure to the parking situation there. She is concerned when the new bandshell is constructed in Drives Park that this will become even more of a hazard.
Fulton Police Chief Neblung said temporary no parking signs will be posted to help alleviate the parking problem. He stated that a lot of people that are working for the event such as athletes, coaches, concessions, are parking on the north side of the parking lot.He would suggest that these individuals utilize the parking farther to the south, opening up more parking in the north side of the parking area. During a recent very busy event, he observed approximately 30 open parking spaces in the south portion of the parking area.
City Administrator, Dan Clark, said that we need to educate the public to utilize the south end of the parking lot more, via better signage directing them to that area.
Alderperson Wilkin stated there should be no parking on the North side and the West side of 16th Ave. She also asked why 12th Street doesn’t just go straight through. City Administrator Clark explained that the Engineers had to make that decision to avoid disruption of the city sewer system in that area.
Chief Neblung stated that the “S” curve that had to exist actually slows traffic down while driving through the area.
Alderperson Wilkin said it is still a safety issue and is not safe for kids, families, and the elderly. She would like to have a North end parking lot and a South end parking lot. She also noted that anywhere citizens go to our city parks, it is not safe because of traffic and parking issues. She said “we need to do a better job for our families”.
Mayor Wendy agreed saying we need to look at a long term plan, but signage and educating the public is what we will do now.
Mayor Wendy asked Melanie Kalyan to go ahead and speak regarding food trucks in the downtown area. Mayor Wendy said that we still don’t have the ordinance from Attorney Shirk’s office, but it is being worked on.
Melanie Kalyan, owner of Krumpets, asked the Council to consider an ordinance to protect local businesses from all mobile trucks with any kind of items for sale, not just food, to not be allowed to park on streets within 3 city blocks of the downtown area. This would not include festivals such as Dutch Days, etc. She said food trucks have an unfair advantage over brick and mortar stores, not paying taxes. The City doesn’t receive any money from them.
Mayor Wendy said an ordinance will be created as a sample. The Council will take Melanie’s concerns and suggestions into account when finalizing the ordinance.
Alderperson Boonstra stated he was going over the budget and sees interest amounts that are widely fluctuating every month. City Treasurer, Fosdick explained to him why the interest amounts vary. City Administrator, Clark, also explained that much more money is spent in the summer months and those months are more active with revenue coming in. Alderperson Boonstra said that makes sense.
Mayor Wendy told the Council that Dan Dolan has not yet signed the contract for the sale of the property. She will keep trying to contact him.
Mayor Wendy discussed her trip to Washington, D.C. She said David and Barb Frantz are going to support Clinton and the 4 lane Hwy. 30 project. She is asking the Council to fund this trip for her flight and hotel. Her spouse will be attending as well.
City Administrator Clark stated the City’s refuse service, Republic Services, has told him that they may be changing the garbage days and routes and they are now being dispatched out of Clinton. He is waiting to hear back from Republic.
Mayor Wendy said she will not be attending the IML Conference in order to save money this year.
Mayor Wendy stated that she has spent nearly $1000.00 of her own money for flowers and plants for the downtown area. She would like to be reimbursed from the City.
Alderperson VanKampen brought up the idea of having a greeter at the door for every Council meeting. She said most people don’t know what’s expected of them when they enter. This would make them feel more welcome.
Alderperson VanKampen said that Corey Council will move the Santa House to the Public Works building.
The Council received a letter from Cattail Park, Alderperson Sue VanKampen said the Parks and Rec Committee will pursue this.
Tori Wade reported on Heritage Canyon during Dutch Days. She said had a great weekend with 7 school busses visiting on Friday and over 300 people coming to the canyon on Saturday.
Alderperson Boonstra asked if Jason Snyder and his students are being reimbursed in anyway for building the Santa house?
Discussion was held on hiring versus appointing for positions in the City.
Alderperson Mask thanked everyone for the efforts in making this year’s Dutch Days festival a huge success.
Motion to Adjourn