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City of Fulton Council Meeting Minutes, May 24, 2021

City of Fulton

Regular Council Meeting

May 24, 2021

 

Regular Meeting

Mayor Wendy Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the Deputy Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Ald. Keith King, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, and Mike VanZuiden, were present. Alderman Hunt arrived at the meeting at 5:39 pm. Alderman Banker was absent. Also, in attendance - Attorney Bill Shirk, Dan Clark, Nick Neblung, Amanda Fosdick, Dale Sikkema, Judy Holesinger, Jill Nederhoff, Vickie Allshouse, Jake Lewis and Elizabeth Smith.

Pledge of allegiance was recited.

The recognition of Volunteers, Judy Holesinger, Jill Nederhoff and Vickie Allshouse were acknowledged  for their outstanding contributions to the city and all the attractions. Alderman Sue VanKampen made the recommendation of these three volunteers for the hard work that they provide in the city’s parks, gardens and flower beds. They never ask the city for money, and often use their own for maintenance of the gardens. The three women were presented with gift cards as a token of appreciation.

Communication from Visitors

New bar and restaurant owner’s, Jake Lewis and Elizabeth Smith plan to open their new business at the site of the former Paddlewheel Pizza and Large 1’s Pub. They presented their plan to the city. The couple are requesting a Class A Liquor for the new establishment. Alderman Mask asked  if they are leasing or buying the property. As of the present time, the couple will be leasing the property. Pizza, burgers, and sandwiches are planned to be served on the menu, both in house and for carry out. They will have their own special recipe for pizza. At this time, the council has decided to have a continuation meeting to vote on the approval of the additional liquor license. Alderman VanZuiden applauds the couple’s enthusiasm for the new business and wishes them the very best. The continuation meeting will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 5:30 pm. All Aldermen are on board with the next meeting.

Business

Approve the April 26, 2021, Minutes…Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman VanZuiden…no discussion. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the April 2021, Treasurer’s Report. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen…discussion to follow. City Administrator Clark states that the General Fund is at $503,000 and should see an increase when the Audit is complete. Fund 31 and Fund 33 will be the additions of the new bonds. Several funds including W/S, garbage, depreciation, and marina funds are all starting to increase. Things are looking up for the future. City Administrator Clark would like the City to potentially reach the $1 Million dollar mark for general fund reserves hopefully within a year or so. With the new Adult Use Cannabis sales, video gaming; and it appears that the hotel is doing quite well, this should all contribute to the potential increases for city revenues. With no further discussion, roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the April/May 2021, Bill List. Alderman VanZuiden motioned; Alderman King seconded. No discussion. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Mayor’s Committee Appointments

Public Safety – Chair Paul Banker – Harley Hunt

Parks & Recs – Chair Sue VanKampen, Wendy Ottens (until 1st ward Alderman is appointed)

Marina – Chair Sue VanKampen, Keith King

Zoning – Dale Sikkema

Economic Development – Chair Bark Mask, Wendy Ottens (until 1st ward Alderman is appointed)

Finance – Chair Dan Nederhoff, Mike VanZuiden

Mayor Wendy has had a discussion with Alderman King and would like to form another committee, “Emergency Operations Coordinator”. This committee would include Keith King as chair, along with Chief Neblung and Administrator/PW Director Clark. This new committee will be voted on at the next meeting.

Zoning Board of Appeals Committee will be appointed at another meeting.

“Good for the Cause”

Mayor Wendy would like to address the “No contact, on weekends”. This is just considerate of one another’s personal time. Therefore, the packets are being prepared and delivered on Thursday prior to the meeting, so if there are any questions, they may be addressed the following day, Friday, or Monday before the meeting.

The recognition of volunteers will hopefully be a monthly tradition. If there is anyone that you deem special to be recognized please get in touch with Mayor Wendy.

Business (continued)

Approve the Water and Sewer Rate Increase that was approved in the 2021/2022 Budget. 4% for water and sewer sales only. No increase on any of the debt services. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. Discussion to follow. Administrator Clark states that this increase only helps us to keep in line with the increase in the cost of living, so we do not fall behind and keeps us paying the bills. It is a very minimum increase. The City of Fulton rates are in the bottom third of all surrounding areas. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the Resolution of Support for the Electric Municipal Aggregation Program to go out for bid along with several other communities to secure a competitive supply rate. Alderman VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. No discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Resolution approved.

Approve the TIF agreement with Corey Council. Alderman VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow. City Administrator Clark states that this TIF agreement will allow Mr. Council to potentially get back approximately $35,000 in funds for the construction of his new building in the City’s Industrial Park. This allows Mr. Council to take advantage of the sales tax portion and allows the City to attract new businesses that will get us the sales tax funds in the future. With no further discussion. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the Annexation Fees for the properties located east of Route 84 and 10th Ave. These businesses are owned by Mr. Heid and Mr. Foster. Alderman VanKampen motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow. The fees would be approximately $3000. Administrator Clark says this is a plus for the city, as we will get the sales tax. With no further discussion. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the FOP Side Letter for step-up salaries based on experience. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. Discussion to follow. Chief Neblung explains that this will enable a salary increase to potential hires with experience to come in at a higher rate of pay. This hopefully will attract more experienced hires to apply with the city. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the circulation of a “Quarterly Newsletter” to be sent out to local citizens in our area. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow. Mayor Wendy states that we are working for transparency and suggests that we mirror somewhat off the Fulton Township’s newsletter to get information out to our citizens. There will be something in the letter from each department within the city. The cost will be approximately around $900 per quarter and will be mailed to 2700 local individuals. Mayor Wendy would like to get a letter out by the end of June. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve the Cannabis License Fee Contract. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman VanZuiden. Discussion to follow. City Administrator Clark states that this application fee will be $10,000 per year for dispensing sales only. Each license will be a charge of $10,000 each. Mr. Dolan will check the license application with the one he is interested in at this time. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve Zoning – change Sec 155-120, adding the terms “special use” for commercial storage units. Alderman Mask motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow. Zoning Officer Sikkema said that the Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously that this should not be changed. The questioned now is does the council want to change the ordinance to a “special use” permit. At this time, storage buildings can be erected in the Industrial district. It would be possible to change the districts but would probably be very costly. Alderman VanZuiden does not believe that the City should tell the individual what they should do with their property if it is already owned by them. It has been decided to be tabled to the next meeting when further information will be available. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no to table to next meeting.

8th Street Project Update – Approve the bid letting. Motioned by Alderman King, seconded by Alderman VanKampen. Administrator Clark explains that we are waiting for DCEO to allow us to use the city’s Revolving Loan Funds for the same project with reduced enhancements. The engineers are reevaluating costs of the project and has suggested an alternate approach to the project to reduce the overall cost. This mainly has to do with the curb and gutter. If the city agrees with the proposed changes, CFPS will continue to work with DCEO and the engineers to move forward with the project. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Approve to repeal the previous tax ordinance amending Chapter 117 and Chapter 118, entitled Utility Tax – Gas and Collecting Taxes for Electricity Usage. Alderman King motioned, seconded Alderman Mask. Discussion to follow. Mayor Wendy states that she was in the audience when these initial ordinances were passed and believes “no” utility company should get a break by the city, especially when it was the company’s mistake. Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Mask. Discussion to follow. Alderman Mask agrees that it was the company’s mistake, but we were helping our citizens so not to burden them with additional charges that would have been made on top of the original utility tax. The city did receive their share of our normal utility tax, we just waived the additional tax on the pass through. All Aldermen agreed that we were helping the citizens, not Jo-Carroll. The issue was that Jo-Carroll made their money when they should have not charged the citizens for their mistake. Mayor Wendy stated that Fulton was the only municipality that passed the original ordinance when no other village or city did. Alderman VanZuiden states we should wait and consider the change if it comes up again, instead of going forward with the change at this time. Why repeal and pay more money for new ordinances when we can deal later if it happens in the future. With no further discussion. Roll call vote, 0 yes, 6 no. Motioned denied.

Approve to amend the Real Estate Contract for Dan Dolan for closing date by January 15, 2022. Alderman VanZuiden motioned, seconded by Alderman King. Discussion to follow. Administrator Clark explains this will allow Dan Dolan to extend the contract due to the State of Illinois not issuing licenses for the grow facilities on time. With no further discussion, roll call vote. 6 yes, 0 no. Motion approved.

Reports

Finance – N/A

Economic Development – Alderman Mask would like and update on the Industrial Park map – Administrator Clark will work on that project.

Parks & Rec – N/A

Public Safety – N/A

Marina – next meeting will be June 17, 2021, at 4 pm in the Council Chambers.

Zoning – will work on map and the Industrial and Business Districts. What defines these districts? If you rezone the River Terminal and Fulton Corp to Business, this should eliminate the problem of Industrial districts in the downtown area. This would eliminate the building of storage sheds along the riverfront downtown. Dale is waiting for direction on which way to pursue the issue from the Council. Will add to next agenda for Council approval to move forward.

Mayor’s Report – Included. Sauk Valley Impact Program has received a substantial donation and Fulton has been selected for students that signup for 25 hours of community service, you will be eligible for a free Associates Degree from Sauk Valley College.

City Administrator Report - Included

Aldermen Report – N/A – donated memorial benches.

Chief of Police Report – Included – Alderman Mask asks about the graphics on the new police vehicles.

Adjourn to Closed Session to discuss Personnel and Property (Alderman King motioned, seconded by Alderman Hunt. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 0 no to enter into closed session at 7:10 pm)

Return to Regular Meeting at 7:39 pm with no adjournment…. will continue with meeting on May 27,2021, at 5:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Tammy L Garibay

Deputy Clerk