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City of Fulton Council Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2020

City of Fulton Council Minutes

July 13, 2020



Regular Meeting

Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30PM and directed the Deputy Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Keith King, Paul Banker, Mike VanZuiden, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite, and Gene Field. No media representatives present. Members of the public Darwin Olsen, Karen Vogel, and Zach Ratcliff present.

City Attorney Shirk, Public Works Director Clark, Tourism Coordinator Fullan, City Administrator Randy Boonstra, Fulton Police Officer Sgt. Hamilton, Police Chief Bartels in attendance.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Communications from Visitors

Citizen Karen Vogel took the opportunity to inform the council on current local COVID impact. Asking the council to consider hat the time for complacency is not now. Vogel has noticed businesses around Fulton removing guidance signage. Vogel asks the council to voice and publicly support state mandates, suggesting a recurring ad in the local paper and signage supporting mandates.

Citizen Zach Ratcliff took the opportunity to discuss financial impacts of COVID sales tax revenue reductions on park planning. Zach recommends considering another source of funds for the 6th avenue pocket park $6,000 expense to be discussed later in the meeting, as video gaming may not provide the funds to cover bond expenses this year.

Consent Agenda

Approve Consent Agenda; Approve Council Meeting Minutes – Public Hearing June 22 and Regular Meeting June 22, 2020. Approve Bill List. Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no, 0 absent. Motion approved.


Motion to approve an Ordinance Directing the Sale of Real Estate Owned by The City of Fulton, the half lot north of the Food Pantry by open bid process using the proposed Notice of Sale. Alderman VanZuiden so moved, seconded by Alderman King. On roll call vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: N/A

Motion to approve Ordinance Authorizing Sale of Municipally Owned Real Estate to Darwin Olsen. Alderman VanZuiden so moved, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. On Roll Call Vote: King (Y), Banker (Y), Mask (N), VanKampen (N), Nederhoff (N), Crosthwaite (Y), Field (Y), VanZuiden (Y), Ottens (Y). Vote: 6 yes, 3 no. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: Alderman Mask opened by referring back to the minutes which do not show that this subject would be up for a vote during this meeting. It was noted that the motion previously was tabled. Mask clarified difficulty in making decision without further time to review details. Darwin Olsen took the podium to propose his plan of action. Darwin has lived in Fulton most of his life, had revitalized many properties, and built over 250 brand new homes. Darwin has reviewed his plans with Randy Boonstra and Paul Banker.

Darwin says he will get the property surveyed and sub-parcel the 2.7 Acres. Olsen would like to put his business in this building. On the side towards the Chase property start by building a 40 by 100ft building. Setting the front of the building up as office space, for possible retail. Guarantees that the initial building will not be storage units. It will have possibly 6 garage doors. If all that fails, Olsen will aim to sublease it out to 3 or more separate businesses.

Instead of Olsen building on the smaller parcel, and generating no sales tax, Olsen aims to generate tax revenue with available space. Will build $200,000 building which could be separated internally into 4 or 5 spaces to lease. Olsen has possible tenant of Engineering company considering moving in, who may want whole building. The first building would be the large expensive one, that is why Olsen asks that the council approve the $8,500/acre offer, as he will have to put in the wells & septic, blacktop.

Alderman Mask voiced concern that Fulton is looking for maximum on sales of property to pay off debt service. Generating sales tax would not necessarily go to paying off the debt. Property is appraised at $13,300/acre and $8,500/acre is a steep discount. Olsen figured costs of well and septic and it is preventative for him to purchase at $13,300/acre. Mask emphasized the appraised value, and the importance of having businesses move into the center that employ people. Mask noted the city justified the lower price of the land to 3D of $8,500/acre with the incentive of large sales tax contributions from the retail business.

City Attorney Shirk requested clarification on splitting it into 2 parcels. Olsen wanted to develop a speculation commercial building, reiterated it will not be a storage facility. Olsen plans for 6 doors on the 100 foot side, to bring in businesses. David Olsen is listed on the purchase offer along with Darwin, who plans to be a broker in the next 2 years or so. Alderman VanKampen inquired about number of people Darwin employs, currently 3. Darwin stated he would like the blessing of the city before inserting businesses in the building. VanKampen emphasized real estate office is not suited for industrial park.                      Ottens asked Olsen about availability of starter space for businesses that need overhead doors. Olsen noted there is little shop space available for businesses in Fulton of an industrial type. Olsen’s ultimate goal is to create successful 4-plex building and sell to retail property investor. City Attorney Bill Shirk noted the motion could be amended to subject to agreement on terms. Alderman Banker noted the Olsen’s are looking for an outcome or direction at this meeting. Mayor Ottens noted the motion was tabled on the council agenda until Darwin was able to submit conceptual pictures. Olsen noted he wouldn’t start the building until the crops there has been harvested. Darwin looking for a decision at this meeting, to begin his process.

It was offered to defer the vote until after terms were established. Attorney Shirk noted right of first refusal only applies to the empty lots, the ordinance could be amended to approve the price of the sale, and establish the terms thereafter. Motion amended to a vote on the price of $8,500/acre. Alderman Mask emphasized importance of determining the terms and returning to vote on the contract at the later meeting. Olsen agreed to a vote at the meeting on whether the offer is accepted. Alderman King noted the 6 doors would be better described as bays. Alderman Banker noted Fulton’s need for space for industrial businesses that is flexible to business’s needs; that lot is not suitable to a large manufacturer, and land discount has been provided to other businesses. Motion was Amended to approve the sale at $8,500/acre subject to terms of the actual contract. Terms to be reviewed at a later meeting.

Motion to approve an Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Certain Personal Property Owned by The City of Fulton. Alderman VanZuiden so moved, Seconded by Alderman Nederhoff. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: Randy Boonstra added 1 lot of computer equipment to the equipment sale list. Items will be put out for sealed bids by the City Administrator. Ottens inquired about plan for fisherman statue. Mask noted the property owner where the statue sits desires to begin construction that requires it moved. Boonstra noted the motion could be amended to gift the statue to the historical society. Mask noted an alderman cannot be involved in the equipment bid process, which prevents a bid by the Fulton Historical society, of which she is a member. Mask noted the statue requires care and paint. Aldermen Banker and VanZuiden noted that gifting the statue to the Historical Society or the Dutch Days committee prevents any other interested party in a chance to buy the statue. VanZuiden and Nederhoff agreed to amend the motion to gift the statue to the Dutch Days committee.

Motion to approve an Ordinance Amending Chapter 34 Entitled “City Policies” by adding section 34.03 Entitled “Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment” For the City of Fulton. So Moved by Alderman VanKampen, Seconded by alderman Crosthwaite. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: N/A

Motion to Adjourn to the Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman King and Seconded by Alderman VanKampen. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. Council session entered Committee of the Whole at 6:29 PM.

Motion to Exit Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman King and Seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. Council exited Committee of the Whole at 7:07 PM.

Motion to enter Closed Session to discuss personnel was made by Alderman Mask, and Seconded by Alderman King. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. The Council entered Closed Session at 7:10PM.

Motion to Exit closed session was made by Alderman Mask and Seconded by Alderman King. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. The Council exited Closed Session at 8:03 PM.

Motion to Adjourn meeting was made by Alderman Banker and Seconded by Alderman Mask. With voice agreement, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 PM.

Committee of the Whole

  • Public Input & Presentations
  • Committee Chair Reports
  • Finance Committee – VanZuiden asked city staff to post committee meeting 7/16/20 at 4 PM.
  • Public Property- N/A
  • Public Safety- Information can be found in Crosthwaite’s committee meeting notes. Chief Bartels asked for council input on advanced ordering items to be funded by recently received grant for tactical items. No outlay required by the city. Approved. Committee seeking council approve plan to hire 1 police officer ASAP and another January 2020. It was agreed to approve plan to hire 2 officers, to be reviewed after budget reviews.
  • Parks & Recreation- N/A
  • Marina- Field confirmed the beached boat has been removed. The marina has been landscaped.
  • Zoning- N/A
  • Economic Development- N/A
  • Mayor’s Report – N/A
  • City Administrators Report
  • Authorizing Ordinance for Issuances of General Obligations. Boonstra provides that this is just an authorizing ordinance to re-finance the 2012C bonds to combine with 2019. If it is approved where it needs to be posted in the paper, several meetings before the bonds are issued.
  • Police Department request for input on safety issue at NW Corner of 7th Avenue and 9th. Police Chief Bartels presented the issue. The house at the NW corner has replaced a crumbling wall with a new block wall, and creating a blind intersection prevents view northbound traffic. Bartels offers a stop sign at that intersection, or following up with the property owner on changing the wall. Some question on validity of new wall, whose property it sits on, whether there would have required a building permit due to size and scope. Council directed City Administrator and Public Works director to research more information.
  • Public Works request to use $6,000 from Video Gaming Fund to complete site and access work at Klooster Park. Park requires the border, the play mat, and concrete to complete ADA requirements. There is $161,000 in the gaming fund. The $161,000. There is a bond payment of $45,000 to be paid from video gaming. Alderman VanZuiden clarified the bond is to be paid on half the video gaming revenues, which had been $45,000, but if considering decreased revenue from COVID impacts will require contributions from the street depreciation fund to pay the bond. Straw vote result was Yes to add the agenda at next meeting.
  • Forward Financial Guidance.

Information provided in the reports.

5. Adjourn

Respectfully Submitted,

David C Gibbons

Clerk – City of Fulton