Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. and directed the Deputy Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen Keith King, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, and Margaret Crosthwaite were present. Alderman Field arrived later during the meeting. Alderman Paul Banker and Alderman Mike VanZuiden were absent. Also in attendance were City Administrator Clark, Chief Neblung, Deputy Clerk Garibay, and Sergeant Hamilton. Visitors in attendance were Wendy Ottens, Harley Hunt, Retired Chief of Police, David Bartels and Kynslee Neblung.
Pledge of allegiance was recited.
Communication from Visitors
Retired Chief Bartels requested to address the Council. Mayor Ottens asked Chief Bartels to please adhere to the three-minute time period for verbal comments. Chief Bartels thanked the Council and Staff for the opportunity that he was given to serve the Fulton Community from 2008 through 2020, in which over two years he served as Chief of Police. Chief Bartels handed out a document to the Mayor and Aldermen which stated several pages of thoughts that he had concerning the Mayor and previous City Administrator. He stated, for what it is worth, some of the statements were harsh, but wanted the Council to be aware of circumstances preceding his retirement. He asked if anyone had any questions to please reach out to him for an explanation. He once again thanked the Council for their support.
Approve consent agenda; approve council meeting minutes from January 11 and January 16, 2021. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. No Discussion to follow - Roll call vote - 6 yes - motion carried.
Approve the motion to extend the contract (ending December 31, 2020) for the option to buy 18.735 acres to Dan Dolan in the Fulton Industrial Center for six months. Alderman Masked asked to verify that this was a six-month contract. Mayor Ottens replied yes. No further discussion. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. With no further discussion, roll call vote, 6 yes. Motion passed.
Approve the motion to support the Sex-Trafficking Free Zone Proclamation for the City of Fulton. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. No Discussion to follow. Roll call vote- 6 yes. Motion passed.
Approve the motion to use the remaining amount ($20,000) of the Canine Funds in conjunction with the sale of the Ford Explorer, to purchase one new Chevrolet Tahoe for the Police Department. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. No Discussion to follow. Roll call vote – 6 yes. Motioned passed.
Motion to move to the Committee of the Whole Agenda and Meeting. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Aldermen King. Roll call vote – 6 yes. Entered the Committee of the Whole at 8:15 a.m.
Committee of the Whole
- Public Input & Presentations
- Credit Card Policy – Auditor’s suggested policy. Alderman Mask asked Deputy Clerk Garibay to explain what procedure is in place at this time. Clerk Garibay said within that last six weeks we have implemented a Credit Card Authorization form that must be filled out and turned into their Department Head for approval and line-item coding. When completed, it is then given to the City Administrator or Clerk for approval and signature. All receipts are attached to the form for easier payment at the end of the month from the Accounts Payable Clerk. All departments are reminded that the Credit Card is only for use when cash or check is not accepted at the time of services or online purchases are being made. At the end of the month an addendum will be furnished with the bill list; this will be a detailed summary for all credit card purchases made within that month. Alderman Mask asked how many credit cards that the City has at this time. It was noted that there are two major business cards at the present time, one for the Police Department and one for the City Administrator. There is also a Home Depot Credit Card for the Public Works Department, which is used for supply purchases. Alderman Mask said she will take this information back to the Personnel Committee and will further discuss at the next meeting.
- I-Fiber Resolution – Mayor and City Administrator attended a meeting with a representative with I-Fiber. They are asking for support to be online with upcoming proposals for businesses and infrastructure development. It is suggested to be on the next agenda to support the resolution.
- Committee Chair Reports
- Public Property
- Public Safety
- Parks & Recreation – Judy Holesinger to apply for a grant for trees to be planted at the School Park. This grant will be in the City’s name due to the ownership of the property. Mayor Ottens asked for a head nod from the council for approval to move forward. All onboard.
- Marina – upcoming meeting on February 18, 2021 at 3 pm.
- Economic Development
- Mayor’s Report – Mayor says he has checked with both Mayoral candidates and has their approval and support to move forward with a deadline (April 1 – April 15) for the Chief of Police position and the City Administrator position; to have applications ready to go at that time. This will prevent the hiring process from a one to two-month delay. Personnel committee is reminded that this will be the goal to keep in mind and will aid the new Mayor and Council, “to hit the ground running with no delays.” Alderman Crosthwaite wanted to stress that applications are not to be taken until advertising is in place. Mayor Ottens said that they were not, and nothing has been formalized until the ads are in place. (April 1 – April 15). The Mayor wants applications for both positions by April 15, 2021. Alderman Mask stated that the Personnel Committee is looking at local advertising for the same Chief position and will tailor that advertisement to fit the qualifications for the City of Fulton. Local advertising and online job sites will be utilized for the searches.
- City Administrator’s Report
- Aldermen Reports
- Public Works Director
- Police Chief – Annual Report (Chief Neblung asked that every Aldermen and Mayor - come and make an appointment with him prior to the next budget meeting to sit down and speak with him. He would like to be transparent and explain the day-to-day operations of the department. At that time, he would be able to answer any questions that you might have. He would like to explain and give details on the recent survey that the department conducted - which is a wealth of information)
- Tourism Coordinator
- Historical Society
****Mayor reminds everyone to hand in their Statement of Economic Interest. Please give to the Deputy Clerk and she will send them in all together at one time.
- Adjourn to the Budget Workshop portion of the meeting at 8:31 a.m.
After doing some computation on the general fund - it has been found that we have saved an estimated $30,000 this current year in health insurance premiums. This is due to 2 Police Officers that have left the department and several months of savings from the departure of the City Administrator. It is therefore recommended by the City Administrator to consider Option #3. This enables the purchase of 3 new police vehicles and the hiring of one new officer to replace the departments vacancies. With these savings, and reductions in several department line items, we will be able to pass a balance budget. The revised options are as follows.
- 1 Chief, 2 Sergeants, 3 full-time Officers, 1 SRO, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 new Tahoe, 40K in Overtime pay. (5,502) 7 MAN DEPARMENT
- 1 Chief, 2 Sergeants, 3 full-time Officers, 1 SRO, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 new Tahoe, Body Cameras, 40K in Overtime pay. (17,142) 7 MAN DEPARTMENT
- 1 Chief, 2 Sergeants, 3 full-time Officers, 1 SRO, 1 Administrative Assistant, 3 new Tahoe’s, Body Cameras, 40K in Overtime pay. (Police Department will cut $6000 in Vehicle maintenance due to new vehicles in fleet, $2000 in fuel cost and $2000 in legal fees). (23,344) 7 MAN DEPARTMENT
- 1 Chief, 2 Sergeants, 2 full-time Officers, 1 SRO, 1 Administrative Assistant, 3 new Tahoe’s, Body Cameras, 50K in Overtime Pay. (21,656 6 MAN DEPARTMENT (Staffing is the main difference here).
- 1 Chief, 2 Sergeants, 4 full-time Officers, 1 SRO, 1 Administrative Assistant, 3 new Tahoe’s, Body Cameras, 40K in Overtime Pay. (133,334) 8 MAN DEPARTMENT
COSTS FOR BODY CAMERAS WILL BE $11,640 PER YEAR FOR 5 YEARS.
COST PER TAHOE WILL BE $50,806 FULLY EQUIPPED. (lowest financing option came from Community State Bank in Fulton @ 1.45% for 48 months)
Chief Neblung states that all computer equipment that has been purchased will all be adaptable to the new vehicles and department.
Chief Neblung stated that with the purchase of the new vehicles and body cameras that the Department should be setup for the next 3-5 years, barring any major catastrophe or government mandate. Savings from the new vehicles will cut vehicle maintenance substantially.
City Administrator recommends moving forward with this portion of the budget (General Fund) which is now balanced.
MISCELLANEOUS FUNDS (Audit Fund, Tort Insurance Fund, Retirement Fund, Social Security Fund, DUI Fund, MFT Fund, Economic Development Fund, TIF #1, TIF #2)
These fund expenditures listed above - are covered by the property taxes levied each year.
*Possible rent increase for crop land rental. (Currently $200 per acre)
Old 2012C Bond which was reissued to get a lower rate is now the 2020 Bond. These payments are made by the ¾% Sales Tax. The bond is scheduled for 20-years. It will be suggested to possibly call the bonds and reissue due to the increase of interest rates during the last 10 years.
Bond 2019 is called the NEW BOND – funds to pay this bond were approved by the council. Funding is as follows - $80,000 of the annual payment from the street fund (0141) and $45,000 from the video gaming fund (36).
Alderman Mask requests that more information be made available on the Economic Development Fund. City Administrator Clark will get that information.
Mayor Ottens has brought up that the Andresen Nature Center house needs roof replacement. City Administrator Clark believes that the Video Gaming Fund should cover this expense.
City Administrator Clark has scheduled the next budget meeting directly following the regular council meeting on February 22, 2021.
Adjourn to the regular council meeting, Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Roll call vote, 6 yes. Motion carried at 8:46 a.m.
CLOSED SESSION to DISCUSS PERSONNEL
Entered closed session at 8:53 a.m.
Adjourned from closed session at 8:58 a.m.
Motion to adjourn the regular council meeting. Motioned by Alderman Mask, seconded by Alderman King, all in favor – 6 yes. Adjourned meeting at 9:00 a.m.
Tammy L Garibay
Deputy Clerk – City of Fulton