Mayor Ottens called the Regular Council Meeting to order at 5:41 PM and directed the Deputy Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Keith King, Paul Banker, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite, and Gene Field were present. Alderman Mike VanZuiden was absent.
Also in attendance were; City Attorney Shirk, City Administrator Randy Boonstra, City Treasurer Amanda Fosdick, Staff members, Dan Clark, Dave Bartels, Aaron Fullan, Sgt. Dwayne Hamilton, media representative, John Rolfe, community member, Zach Ratcliffe and Rock River Energy Director, Mike Mudge .
Pledge of allegiance was recited.
There was no public comments.
Approve consent agenda; approve council meeting minutes from June 8th and June 15th, 2020 and Treasurer’s Report, for the month of May 2020. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. Discussion to follow.
Alderman Mask asked that there be corrections made to the Minutes. Dates were changed from May 15th and 18th, 2020 to the correct dates of June 8 and June 15, 2020. CA Boonstra asked that item B, change word from process to proceed and under item E, change the proposal date from June 27 to June 22. Alderman Crosthwaite asked that correct spelling of names also be corrected. Deputy Clerk acknowledged that she would make the corrections. Alderman Mask thanked the City Treasurer for making corrections and dividing the two departments, Parks and Tourism on the graphs and charts. With no further discussion, Roll call vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Approve the Resolution of Support for applying for a Community Development Block Grant to be used for the administration of the Downstate Small Business Stability Program. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. No Discussion. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Approve the Fair Housing Resolution. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. No Discussion. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Approve to allow bids to be received for the repair of 17th Street at the entrance from Route 84. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite. Discussion to follow. Alderman VanKampen asked if TIF Funds could be used for this project. CA Boonstra and Atty. Shirk did not think that the area was in the TIF District but would check for sure. CA Boonstra said that funds had been budgeted for this repair already. Alderman VanKampen said that if TIF would cover the repair than the budgeted funds could cover some other street repair. Alderman Crosthwaite asked if TIF Funds were available only for new projects and not general maintenance. CA Boonstra acknowledged that they should be used for new projects. With no further discussion, Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Approve the sale of land in the Industrial Center to Darwin Olsen. Alderman Field motioned, seconded by Alderman Banker. Discussion to follow. Attorney Shirk asked if it was just Darwin to be purchasing, or if it was to be Darwin and David. CA Boonstra will find out for sure, so proper paperwork can be drawn up.
Alderman Mask reiterated about the sale being discounted, as with other properties that had been discounted and sold. In this case, Alderman Mask asked why should we discount this piece of prime real estate and not one penny will be received by the city for sales tax. The only tax income we will receive is from property taxes. It is something that we should consider. Another concern is that this building will become somewhat of a storage shed, that the council has previously frowned upon. Alderman Mask referred to a previous endeavor with the City’s sale of a property and the construction did not end up to be what was promised by the purchaser. She stated that we have not even seen a photo or plan from Mr. Olsen on what this might look like. She would like to see some type of footprint of the proposed building.
CA Boonstra said that the proposed building would be approximately 40x100 and would generate a sizeable amount of property tax. Another point of interest is that the current city code states that storage sheds can only be built in an industrial zone, so actually this is the area that it should be allowed, or outside the city limits.
Atty Shirk said that there are three ways you can sell property. As surplus, which you would need to charge 80%, or go out for bids, which you could take as little as $1, or within a TIF District, that property can be sold for any amount. Which this particular parcel is located in a TIF District.
Alderman Nederhoff said he was not opposed to selling the property, but did agree with Alderman Mask, that since we would not be receiving any sales tax, we should insist on a larger selling price per acre.
Alderman Banker said he had talked with Mr. Olsen, and assured the council that there was not going to be any storage sheds. He says presently, Mr. Olsen has several parties interested in purchasing half of the building for their businesses already. This would be a spec building. If he did not sell the entire building he could possibly use at least half of the area for his own purpose.
Alderman Mask asked if it would be possible to ask for more money per acre and a drawing on what will be built there. CA Boonstra said that Mr. Olsen described the building similar to one that has been constructed in Rapid City. Alderman King said he was familiar with that building and said it was very nice. After much discussion the council agreed to table this discussion, pending on a drawing of the construction and a higher asking price for the property. Fair Market Value. Roll Call Vote to Table Motion, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion will be tabled.
Approve Ordinance adopting the “State of Emergency” situations code. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. Discussion to follow. City Attorney Shirk said that this ordinance would supersede all previous ordinances dealing with emergency situations. It will give the power to the Mayor without having to wait for approval at a meeting to deal with emergency situations. With no further discussion. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Approve the proposal from Rock River Energy for renewal and lowering of rates for streetlight power. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow.
Mr. Mike Mudge from Rock River Energy Services explained the new street lighting rates that will save the city at least $1000 per year. He also suggested on voting to renew rates for the pumping rates at this time also, stating that we might not ever see rates so long again, contributing this decrease due to the price of fuel. He is suggesting to have a 42 month contract for street lighting and a 36 month contract for the pumping stations. This will bring these two in line together for future bids. It is in the best interest to stay with Constellation/ComEd for the new rates. With no further discussion. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Alderman Banker motioned, seconded by Alderman Crosthwaite to adjourn to the Committee of the Whole. Roll call vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.. The council entered the Committee of the Whole at 6:15 PM.
The Council adjourned from the Committee of the Whole at 7:10 p.m. Motioned by Alderman Mask, seconded by Alderman King. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved. Meeting was than transferred to the City Hall location to continue with a closed session.
Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen to enter closed session to discuss personnel. Roll call vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. The council entered closed session at 7:20 PM.
The Council exited closed session with a Roll Call Vote; 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion Approved. The council exited closed session at 8:50 p.m.
With no further discussion, voice agreement by all members, the council adjourned at 8:52 pm.
Committee of the Whole
1. Public Input & Presentations
- Recommend passing an ordinance to amend Chapter 34, by adding Section 34.03 entitled “Policy prohibiting sexual harassment for the City of Fulton.” Attorney Shirk stated this is an annual training and different online websites offer the training. CA Boonstra said that the City of Fulton will use the training that is offered by the IML. Once the ordinance is passed, arrangements will be made for with an individual training session or one that multiple employees can watch at the same time. Certificates will be printed and kept in the employees personnel file. Employees will also sign a statement that they fully understand the course and will follow the rules of such training. Mayor Ottens asked that this be added to next meeting’s agenda.
- Request from Fulton Food Pantry to purchase the ½ lot to the north of their property on 3rd CA Boonstra explained the map that was included in the packet, showing the area that is in question. River Bend School District Office is fine with the sale to the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry would then like to take the tree down that is between the two buildings. Attorney Shirk stated that there were three options for the sale, but recommended as we did the last sale of property to the Food Pantry, of going out for bids. This provides the City to sell the property for any amount, instead of getting an appraisal and asking a minimum of 80%. CA Boonstra will reach out to the Food Pantry members and ask what they might have in mind for a purchase price. The Food Pantry would be liable for all closing costs, advertising fees and legal fees. Mayor Ottens asked that this be added to next meeting’s agenda to go out for bids.
- Recommend ordinance to sell surplus property. Council has acknowledged that the included list named, “Exhibit A”, in the packet will be on the ordinance for approval at next council meeting to allow the sales.
- Request approval to send out newsletter explaining street projects (questions and answers), and to update information of the garbage pickup. Alderman Crosthwaite witnessed the Moring truck today absolutely missing pickups on her street. CA Boonstra, said please notify City Hall when you witness these instances and we will call Moring right away. Alderman Mask said the refuse truck first did one side of her street and then had to come back and do the other side of the street, due to the arm only reaching in one direction to pick up the toters. Alderman VanKampen reiterated about the lids being closed on the toters. They will not pickup the cans if it is piled high with refuse. The billing process was also discussed for the additional can. The charge would be an additional $15 per month, billed in two month increments instead of annually, which Moring implemented right away. CA Boonstra, spoke with Mr. Moring and was able to get that revised to bi-monthly instead, to help out with the additional cost to the citizen. The issue was also brought up about the cans being removed within 24 hours off the area of placement. CA Boonstra said that the Police Department was going to try the “Community Policing” tactic first for approximately a month. If we see no positive results with this procedure, drafting up an ordinance will follow. CA Boonstra said the cost to send out the one page flyer to residents was approximately $400. The Council agreed that this would be beneficial at this time. The newsletter project will proceed.
- Committee Chair Reports
Budget Committee – N/A
Public Property Committee – N/A
Public Safety Committee – Chairperson Crosthwaite has included minutes
from their scheduled meeting on June 13, 2020. Minutes included several
points of interest to discuss.
It was noted that there had been 2 officers resign during the past 2 weeks, staffing will be short. The department will be hiring part time replacements to help with the shortage. These officers will be paid a rate of $25 per hour. Hiring PT Officers will create an extra unbudgeted cost, but will save, due to no insurance expense, IMRF or training. Shuffling of hours and vacation schedules might help also. The recommendation from the Safety Committee is to hire 2 full time officers. The Police Department will start the process of advertising for one full time officer starting this week and take applications through the end of July.
The issue of radios and dispatching were also discussed. There has been correspondence from Whiteside County that the upgrade will happen sooner or later and to be prepared. May ask a representative to from WHCO to attend a council meeting for further information and cost.
Body Armor was the biggest discussion. Currently there are 3 vests that are expired and another that will expire at the end of August. Each vest costs approximately $962. It is possible to take the money from the drug fund. This fund has always covered the cost of vests in the past.
Alderman Crosthwaite said that some type of fundraiser might be helpful due to the shortage of funds in the Drug Prevention Fund. Alderman Crosthwaite stated there was only $2400 in the drug fund and Chief Bartels agreed. Grants were discussed and per Chief Bartels, he was not aware that there were any available at this time. Chief Bartels main concern was that if a grant was received could those monies go directly back into the Drug Fund to replenish it from the expenses. Attorney Shirk said that would be clarified in the Grant conditions, so possibly if the Grant stated those terms.
Alderman VanKampen asked the total price for one vest, as she was going to see if she could find any private donor; stating that we need to protect our officers as much as they protect the citizens. Alderman Mask was in full agreement.
Mayor Ottens said that the City would come up with the funds due to the Drug Fund shortage, and to go ahead and start the ordering process. The entire Council agreed. CA Boonstra said most companies payment terms were 30 days, net, so this would give us a little time to find some funding.
Parks and Recreation - N/A
Marina – Alderman Gene Field said that he had received a phone call on the boat at the Marina that was a safety hazard, “The USS Minnow”, and that it was the consensus of the Marina Committee that it should removed. Mayor Ottens asked if any Alderman had any input and it was a majority to remove the boat. PW Director Clark was asked to make arrangements for the disposal.
Zoning - N/A
Economic Development – N/A
Mayor’s Report – N/A
- City Administrator’s Report – As Noted
- Aldermen Reports – N/A
- Public Works Director Report – N/A
- Police Chief Reports – As Noted
- Martin House Report – As Noted
- Adjourn – With no further business for the Committee of the Whole, Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King to return to the Regular Council Meeting at 7:10 p.m. Roll Call Vote, 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.
Tammy L Garibay
Deputy Clerk – City of Fulton