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City of Fulton Council Meeting Minutes, August 24, 2020

City Council Meeting August 24, 2020 Minutes - City of Fulton



Regular Meeting

Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30PM and directed the Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Paul Banker, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite, Mike VanZuiden and Gene Field P were present. Keith King, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen not present. No media representatives present.

City Attorney Shirk, City Administrator Randy Boonstra, in attendance.

Mayor Ottens implemented the IPDH’s guidelines requiring masks during this council meeting.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Communications from Visitors


Consent Agenda



Open Bids for Sale of Property on 3rd Street between Food Pantry and Riverbend offices.

                Discussion: One bid received. Addressed Proposal of sale of No7 ½ lot. The Fulton Thompson Food Pantry would like to bid $1,600 for the North half lot No.7 of the existing Fulton Thompson Food Pantry, Inc. property. Clerk Gibbons submitted bid to Attorney Shirk for further review and processing. Because there are not enough council members present to sway corporate authority, the vote on whether or not to accept the bid will be placed on the next agenda.

Motion to approve Agreement for Improvements to 24th Avenue. Alderman VanZuiden so moved, seconded by Alderman Field. On roll call vote: 5 yes, 0 no, 3 absent. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: Trailer Court owners willing to take on improvements at their expense but installed at Fulton’s engineering standards.

Motion to Adjourn to the Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman Nederhoff and Seconded by Alderman Field. On Roll Call Vote: 5 yes, 0 no, 3 absent. Motion Approved. Council session entered Committee of the Whole at 5:37 PM.

Motion to Exit Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman VanZuiden and Seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. On Roll Call Vote: 5 yes, 0 no, 3 absent. Motion Approved. Council exited Committee of the Whole at 6:31 PM.

Motion to Adjourn meeting was made by Alderman Field and Seconded by Alderman VanZuiden. With voice agreement, the meeting was adjourned at 6:33 PM.

Committee of the Whole

  • Public Input & Presentations
  • Azavar Audits for Lodging.

Discussion: Boonstra provided background. Azavar uses software to audit the spread between large travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity purchase price for a block of rooms at a hotel or motel and the price for which they are sold to the end user. Expedia is required to pay the tax amount for the full room rate, not their discounted rate. This service ensures full sales tax is collected by the city. Any disparities between the sales tax collected and sales tax paid are appealed to the organization who purchased and sold the block of rooms. Any amount settled by the organization and Azavar are shared 50/50 between the City of Fulton and Azavar. Item will be added to the next agenda for approval. 2020 YTD revenue from this service was $190.00 at time of meeting.

  • 1st Avenue – Citizen Requests.

Discussion: As a result of paving efforts on 1st Avenue, residents there have noted to the City that the mailboxes are too far away from the curb for the postal service to reach from the vehicle. Citizens would prefer to have mailboxes moved closer to the curb. Boonstra recommends covering the cost of moving the mailboxes as service to citizens. 10 mailboxes to move. Item will be added to the next agenda. People have also commented that the gravel that once existed and was used as parking along 1st avenue is now curbed and will be grass. CIVIL engineering can accommodate either option for the residents there, grass or gravel. It was agreed that City Administration will follow up with the residents their preference for grass or gravel. There is no additional cost involved.

  • Discuss payment options for cost of storm cleanup.

Discussion: Alderman VanZuiden provided an overview of the finance committees results of a meeting held on this topic. Significant damage if addressed by City resources only would last for months more. VWC was brought in with crew of 7, with more equipment. Part of the cost was the prevailing wage factor. All said and done expense to VWC would be in range of $150,000-$200,000. The Committee recommends to split the cost between the Video Gaming Fund, which currently had a balance of $160,000 and the Garbage Fund, which has $104,000 balance. Dan Clark was to look into use of Motor Fuel tax funds, to be determined. Boonstra has been moving ball forward on a county level for assistance, and due to a lack of a disaster declaration, Fulton is solely responsible for clean-up costs. Alderman Crosthwaite inquired about any possible insurance support. Business Manager Garibay noted that in communication with the insurance company, expense of clean-up is $1000 per tree up to 10 trees. For a total clean-up payout of $10,000. Homeowners with claims against the city insurance are handled separately. Ottens finds the committee’s recommendation to be the best path forward at this time. Alderman Banker Agrees, given that the expense was necessary as city employees were maintaining the sewer lift stations immediately after the storm. VanZuiden emphasizes the importance that the community understands that Fulton’s expense was a large portion a service to the community members, carrying off damaged tress from private land. City of Fulton offered this service for 2 weeks post-storm. Burn Ban continued for 1 additional week due to dry conditions. This decision to be reviewed by Mayor Ottens, City Administrator, and Police Chief Bartels on 8/31/2020. Burn Ban will be communicated via press releases & Facebook. Some conversation around clean up responsibility of the remaining dead twigs and leaves after public works has removed the bulky logs and branches. The cities responsibility or the residents? Ottens suggested possibility of hiring temporary workers. Alderman Crosthwaite suggested special pickup by Morning funded by the city. Boonstra suggested contacting Thompson Prison for labor, who offers services for leaf pickup in Thompson in the fall. Unity School offering 55 students to help clean up at public parks. Bulky Item pick-up being scheduled with Moring for the end of September 2020. All above options will be reviewed. Alderman VanZuiden noted that the city has gone to significant lengths and costs in the cleanup effort in so far, he questions how much more the Council is comfortable taking on clean up responsibility. Alderman Banker underscores importance of the city to have an exit plan for cleanup, feels city has borne enough of the cleanup effort. Alderman VanZuiden cautioned that further cleanup will have a cost and large costs have already been incurred. Alderman Crosthwaite emphasized importance of maintaining as many dollars as possible for future emergency situations. Any further actions deferred until next council meeting as more information becomes available.

  • Committee Chair Reports
  • Finance Committee – Alderman VanZuiden pointing out significant revenue shortfalls are approaching, and advises council that difficult decisions will have to made, including personnel decisions. Low hanging fruit have all been captured. Encourages council to give this topic some thought before next meeting. Also encourages contingency planning aligned with levels of revenue shortfalls.
  • Public Property- N/A
  • Public Safety- N/A
  • Parks & Recreation- N/A
  • Marina- Replacement flag had been delivered and will installed.
  • Zoning- N/A
  • Economic Development- N/A
  • Mayor’s Report – Will be meeting with superintendent on School Resource Officer. As school was cut short, they would not like to pay for the service un-used. Ottens will be meeting with the Super to discuss plans for the future.
  • City Administrators Report – N/A
  • Aldermen Reports – N/A

5. Adjourn

Respectfully Submitted,

David C Gibbons

Clerk – City of Fulton