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City of Fulton Council Meeting Minutes, June 8, 2020

City of Fulton

Regular Council Meeting

June 8, 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, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosswaite, and Gene Field. Alderman Mike VanZuiden not present. Media Representative Jerry Lindsey present. Members of the public Drake Chase, Troy Chase, Bill Wilkin, and Bill Council present.

City Attorney Shirk, Public Work Director Clark, Tourism Coordinator Fullan, City Administrator Randy Boonstra, Police Chief Bartels in attendance.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Alderman Crosswaite noted that the new recycling containers often do not empty completely. She and members of her ward have noted this occurring.

Mayor Ottens offered a point of clarification from the previous meeting on the subject of the 17th street repairs. The motion that was denied at the previous meeting was to add $2000.00 to the budget for this project as $10000.00 had already been previously approved.

Consent Agenda

Approve Consent Agenda; Approve Council Meeting Minutes – May 18, 2020 and May 29, 2020; Approve Bill List. Roll Call Vote: 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion approved.


Approve motion to appoint David C. Gibbons as City Clerk. With no further discussion, Barb Mask made motion and Crosthwaite seconded. Roll call vote; 7 Yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion Approved. David Gibbons was sworn in by Mayor Ottens.

Approve motion to appoint Standing Committee Members. Mayor Ottens plans to add member to personnel committee in the future. With no further discussion, Roll call vote. 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion Approved.

Approve motion to approve the Ordinance creating a liquor license class for Meeting Houses. Clarification was requested on the meaning of “Meeting Houses”. Randy Boonstra provided clarification that it was for lack of a better word, but creates legal distinction between a rented facility and private property. City Attorney Bill Shirk added that this is a class D license, and each application will be reviewed on a 1 to 1 basis. Advantage of 1 at a time is to prevent questionable use. License fee will be semi-annual $125 or annual cost of $250 to license holder. Council has the ability to cancel or revoke the license. With no further discussion, Roll call vote. 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion Approved.

Approve Motion to approve re-bidding of 8th Street Construction Project. Motioned by Mask, seconded by Banker. Original bidding was done prior to the completion of the environmental study, this requires rebidding now that the study is complete. Bids could come in higher. The previously winning bidder is still interested. It was consensus bids may come in higher now due to timing within the construction season, earlier season work tending to be more inexpensive, later in the season more expensive. With no further discussion, Roll call vote. 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. Motion Approved.

The Council Adjourned to the Committee of the Whole at 5:45 PM. Motioned by Alderman Mask, seconded by Alderman King. Roll Call Vote; 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent.

The Council adjourned from the Committee of the Whole at 7:10 PM. Motion by Alderman King and Seconded by Alderman Mask. Roll Call Vote; 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent.

Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King to enter closed session to discuss personnel. Roll Call Vote: 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. The council entered closed session at 7:16 PM.

Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask to exit closed session. Roll Call Vote; 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent. The council exited closed session at 7:32 PM.

With no further discussion Alderman King motioned, and Alderman VanKampen seconded. With voice agreement the council adjourned 7:41 PM.



Committee of the Whole

  • Public Input & Presentations
    • Request to get bids for repair of 17th Street at the intersection of Route 84. This request was approved at the July 22, 2019 meeting. Randy Boonstra provided information, original estimates in 2019 came in at $10,000.000 and subsequently estimates were received at $12,500.00. Citizen Bill Wilkin made plea on the poor state of the 17th street intersection of Route 84. He noted it is a rough ride, and many local businesses utilize this area. State of road has worsened 2019 to current. Alderman Mask commented at the difficulty of merging onto the highway at that intersection. To get bids requires a council vote. Ottens asked for those opposed to funding to comment. Alderman asked if the amount is in the budget. Boonstra confirmed that it is. Boonstra confirmed to add this item to the agenda.
    • Request to get bids for paving Progress Drive. Drake and Troy Chase plea for moving project along. 3D plans to open up in late June early July 2020. Dozens of people visit business a day, and they do not want to ask visitors to drive down gravel road. Claim 3d provided $10,000.00 in tax revenue to the city in May. It’s a city road that needs to be paved. Challenge to city that they will relocate if the road is not paved. They have blacktopped around their building. Their high end customers do not want to drive down gravel road. Mask questioned TIF fund money, funding for this road will come from TIF 1 funding while this property is in TIF 2. Boonstra pointed out there are no funds in TIF 2, even though this is where 3D sits as there have not been any contributions to that fund yet. Mask asked that if funds come into TIF 2, will TIF 1 be re-funded? Mask emphasized importance of keeping TIF’s funded correctly and ensuring any transfers are paid back. TIF 1 generates about $20K annum, currently holds $230K based on property taxes. Nederhoff asked about length of progress drive to 3D building, Boonstra confirmed 550 feet estimate for road length. Road is 800 feet all the way to the end. Some estimates have been received by the city: $105K for 4” Blacktop Overlay, $157K for 5” Overlay, $250K for 9” Overlay. Public works director clarified that both 5” and 9” are rated 80,000 lb roads, which will be necessary to support semi-truck trailers and construction equipment. Mayor Ottens recalls a discussion right along about paving progress drive as deal was reached with 3D, and these points are not covered in the meeting minutes. Mayor Ottens emphasized importance of Return on Investment on tax revenue, payback period being 2years. Ottens also commented that the cost of the building, $200,000-$400,000 and attracting businesses to the business park will necessitate the paving of progress drive. Alderman Mask inquired about availability and plans for land to East of 3D property. Boonstra indicated available lots along new proposed paved road. Mask inquired about amount of money already invested in 3d property via the access road and discounts on the land total $47,000 into access road. The land was assessed at $13,000.00/acre, sold at $8,500/acre. $20,000.00 of land purchase generally goes to buyer putting in well and septic, Fulton has made discounts because of that fact. Alderman Banker clarified that these discounts are not exclusive to 3D, but to all who would like to invest in the business park. Boonstra noted that every purchase is different circumstance depending on economic development opportunity. Mayor Ottens noted that funding is coming out of TIF funds and that the plan has been to pave the road all along. Troy Chase noted 3D is large economic generator with truckers, customers, tax revenue, have agreed to hire 2 more employees. Drake has invested in Fulton, as this is his home town, would prefer not to relocate business. Council members and city employees emphasize that the process to get the road paved will require multiple months at least. Process requires (all estimates): 2 weeks to Vote to get bids, 3 weeks to get engineering, 1 month to post for bids, 2 weeks to get contracts signed, undeterminable amount of time for contractor to schedule and execute. City Council and employees will deliver max effort to complete this project. Mask pointed out the process exists to inform the public how tax money is being utilized, and a discussion for public benefit must occur. Boonstra confirmed estimates had been received in December. Nederhoff comments that the land was purchased to develop it, emphasizes importance of moving this project along. Field comments commitment to developing that area, creating road. Crosswaite disappointed this project was not brought to the council with every meeting. 3D asked about any possible opportunity to improve the road, keep the dust down. Council approved beginning of the engineering process, fees will come from TIF. Item moved to next meeting’s agenda for a vote to proceed with bid process.
    • Request from Darwin and David Olsen to purchase 2.85 Acres in the Industrial Center. Boonstra provides that Olsens interested purchasing property at entrance to industrial center at $8,500/acre. Plans to build a large building for zoned usage and possibly storing equipment for others. Eventually looks to add a real estate office and possibly a retail business. The Olsens have invested $100,000 in community via home and remodeling. The offer is below asking to accommodate cost of well and septic installation, generally running around $20,000. Crosswaite inquired about intention of building is for storage, Boonstra replies large building portions to be rented to large equipment owners. Mask asked about number of people this is going to employ, Boonstra confirmed Olsen has no immediate plans to hire. Field does not consider retail out of the question at the industrial park. Mayor Ottens: Is this the kind of business we want, and is the price adequate? Crosswaite would like to see jobs, and would not like to see storage sheds. Item moved to next meeting agenda.
    • Discussion of proposed ordinance to address State of Emergency Situations. Bill was sent to Fulton from IML. 2 weeks to look it over. Will be on the agenda for next meeting.
    • New contract for street lighting electrical provider. Rock River Energy providing information on renewal. Rock River will have actual proposal on 6/22/2020 on what the rates will be. Rock River will have a representative at the meeting.
    • List Heritage Subdivision lot for sale. Last remaining lot for sale, has been marketed with signs out front. Signs eventually disappear. Requesting permission to list this property with realtor at estimated commission of 6%, estimated commission $2,500.00 to realtor. Approved.
    • Installation of sails by Windmill – Information only. Used sails where given to different grade schools, 3 at Fulton Grade school and 1 at Unity, they have been finished and decorated by the classes. 1 sail to be displayed at a time. 1 was installed already.
    • Request approval for surplus property sale. Will require ordinance, approved.
    • Approval to allow Council meeting video streaming and recording. Getting closer to using board docs on Chrome Books, which will allow video streaming and recording. Mayor Ottens believes important for transparency. Bill Shirk contributed that the Governor may pass a law that will require video and audio recording. Bill has not be signed into law yet, but Shirk believes it will be. Boonstra confirmed he will start work on that internally.
    • OMA – requires committee meeting notices, agendas and minutes. Open meetings act requires the aforementioned. Boonstra requiring advanced notice in order to post the meetings.
    • Discuss payment to Blackhawk Waterways Annual Dues - $3000. Dues required to continue to be a member of the group. Has been budgeted for previously. Mask commented the importance of Fulton’s membership as this organization provides access to the tourism brochure stands at road rest areas, which directs visitors to Fulton and also opens Fulton up to tour guides and travel agents.
    • Request from Joe Haan to extend retaining wall onto city property. Current code does not determine this decision. It was determined this wall would be built on top a water main. This request denied as creates conflicts in event water main maintenance is required. Director of Public works recommends not allowing wall, council agrees. Boonstra agrees to communicate result to applicant.
    • Discuss retention or removal of SS Minnow. Boat was foreclosed on, and is not able to float. Recent increased emphasis on clearing nuisances. Mayor Ottens recommends sending this to Marina committee for a decision.
    • Input on grant to pay for Tourism sign downtown. Fulton has received a grant for this. Has to be used before the end of June 2020. Requesting permission to place signs downtown Fulton. Actual images will be provided next month. Blackhawk waterways provided this grant.
    • Relocate Fisherman statue. Real Estate office was sold, and the fisherman statue out front is city property. Current owner had offered the statue to the Fulton Historical Society. Bill Shirk recommends giving it away to a charitable organization, will wrap into the previously discussed ordinance for the sale of surplus property.
    • Martin House annual fund balances. Balances have retreated due to market fluctuations. Mask emphasizes sharing of information on the Martin House funds and funding mechanisms.
    • Public hearing for Downstate Small Business Stability Program. 2 business want to take advantage, city must monitor funds distributions, usage, and hold public hearing.

2. Committee Chair Reports

a. Finance Committee – N/A

b. Public Property- N/A

c. Public Safety-N/A

d. Parks & Recreation- N/A

e. Marina- N/A

f. Zoning- N/A

g. Economic Development- N/A

3. Mayor’s Report – N/A

4. City Administrators Report

Budget Progress Report. Overall income down from seasonality of property taxes, which have not come in yet. Building permits are over budget due to large commitment of solar garden on 22nd avenue. No questions on income side. On Expense side general government over budget, primarily due to software contracts at $4,500.00. Police right at budget, one expense on one police Charger vehicle of $1400.00 of total $4,000.00 annual budget amount. Legal Services of $700 out of annual of $1500. Ammunition $644 of $1000. Streets are below budget by 4.4%. Streets encountered one expense of $3,000.00 for a gravel grader for alley maintenance. Parks under budget at 6.6%, seasonality impactful here. Tourism is overall budget slightly over at 10% for publishing. Over Month of May ended at 7.5% versus budget of 8.3%. Boonstra will try to highlight significant metrics moving forward.

United Way starting second round of gift cards to restaurant workers this Thursday. Legislation did pass that allows bars to sell to-go alcoholic beverages. Shirk added protocol for usage under the laws requires the beverages be shrink wrapped and transported out of reach of the driver. A bar can deliver they must ensure your 21 and over.

                Beginning to receive correspondence for 2020 bond issue from financial organization. Because of low current rates, opportunity for positive outcome for Fulton.

                Barb Mask added question on trashcan removals. How long do we let the cans sit out? Boonstra says nuisance ordinances can cover this. Mask feels fair to let community know what expectation is. Changes and setting standard would require ordinance.

Public works director play set is coming along well. Requires a play mat, put in a boarder, and handicap sidewalk which will need to be funded by gaming funds. All in expenses remaining are $5,000-$6,000.00. Starting Drives park 6/15.

5. Adjourn

Respectfully Submitted,

David C Gibbons

Clerk – City of Fulton