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City of Fulton Council Meeting Minutes, September 14, 2020

City Council Meeting September 14, 2020 Minutes - City of Fulton



Public Hearing: N/A

Regular Meeting

Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 5:30PM and directed the Clerk David Gibbons to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Keith King, Paul Banker, Sue VanKampen (via video call), Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite and Gene Field were present. Not present – Barbara Mask, Mike VanZuiden. No media representatives present. Members of the public Satinder Grewal, Harnunder Grewal, Gurlabh Singh, Bhupin Derdit Kaur present.

City Attorney Shirk, Public Works Director Clark, City Administrator Randy Boonstra, in attendance.

Mayor Ottens implemented the IPDH’s guidelines requiring masks during this council meeting.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Communications from Visitors

Members of the public Satinder Grewal, Harnunder Grewal, Gurlabh Singh, Bhupin Derdit Kaur deferred opportunity to the Committee of the whole where additional liquor licenses will be discussed.

Consent Agenda

Approve Consent Agenda; Approve City Council & Committee of the Whole minutes from August 17, 2020 and August 24, 2020. Approve Bill List. Alderman King so moved, seconded by Crosthwaite. Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion approved.

Discussion: N/A


Summary of 2019 Audit to be presented by Wipflii. No Vote Required.

                Discussion: Presentation occurred during the Committee of the whole due to technical issues. Details can be found in the Fulton Audit Report 2019.

Motion to Approve the use of Azavar Audits for Lodging. Alderman Crosthwaite so moved, seconded by Alderman Banker. On roll call vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved.

                Discussion: N/A

Motion to Approve the cost of the 8/10/20 storm cleanup to be split evenly between the Garbage Fund (Fund 53) and the Video Gaming Fund (Fund 36). Alderman Field so moved, Seconded by Alderman Banker. On Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved.  

Discussion: Dan Clark provided a current more accurate estimate of cleanup costs so far of $138,000. He noted not all invoices are yet received by the City. This motion is the recommendation from the Finance Committee.

Motion to Approve the Bond Ordinance for the refinancing of the 2012C bond. “Ordinance providing for the issuance of approximately $1,465,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source) , Series 2020, for the purpose of refunding certain outstanding bonds of the city, the pledge of certain revenues to the payment of the principal and interest on said bonds and the levy and collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to make such payment, authorizing the execution of an escrow agreement in connection with said refunding and authorizing the sale of said bonds to Bernardi Securities, Inc.” So Moved by Alderman Nederhoff, Seconded by Alderman Banker. On Roll Call Vote: 5 yes, 0 no, 3 absent. Motion Approved. Alderman VanKampen unable to vote on this subject remotely.

                Discussion: Alderman Boonstra noted the bonds were sold 9/14/2020 with interest rates generally below 2%. The Debt model that had been used was $240,000 a year in 2019/2020, but with the lower interest rate the new obligation will be $220,000. Representing a $248,000 savings in interest costs over the 10 years.

Motion to extend terms of Property Sales Agreement with Dan Dolan to December 31, 2020. So Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Field. On Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved.

Discussion: Illinois State is back-logged on all Craft-Growing permits. In order to move forward with this potential sale, the sale agreement will need to be extended to accommodate this administrative time.

Motion to Adjourn to the Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman King and Seconded by Alderman Field. On Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved. Council session entered Committee of the Whole at 5:40 PM.

Motion to Exit Committee of the Whole was made by Alderman King and Seconded by Alderman Field. On Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved. Council exited Committee of the Whole at 7:03 PM.

Motion to enter Closed Session to discuss personnel was made by Alderman Crosthwaite, and Seconded by Alderman Banker. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. The Council entered Closed Session at 7:04PM.

Motion to Exit closed session was made by Alderman Field and Seconded by Alderman King. On Roll Call Vote: 8 yes, 0 no. Motion Approved. The Council exited Closed Session at 7:17 PM.

Motion to approve Mayor’s Appointment of Dan Clark as Interim City Administrator, effective September 25, 2020. So Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Field. On Roll Call Vote: 6 yes, 0 no, 2 absent. Motion Approved.

Discussion: N/A

Motion to Adjourn meeting was made by Alderman Field and Seconded by Alderman King. With voice agreement, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM.

Committee of the Whole

  • Public Input & Presentations
  • Budget Amendment for Storm Cleanup

Discussion: City Administrator suggests adding a budget amendment for the storm clean up funds so the budget can be used to accurately evaluate performance of normal operating expenses. Boonstra suggests adding an account with balance of $150,000. This is approved to be on the next council agenda.

  • Financial Review

Discussion: City Administrator’s general financial overview as requested by the Council. 50% of property taxes have been received. Property taxes make up 15% of total income. Sales and Usage taxes are 70% of income. These taxes current trending on budget, but shortfalls due to COVID have yet to be realized. Boonstra warns council to looks for $80-100,000 in lost revenue due to pandemic. This impact may be lower, as sales tax revenue from the City top 5 sales tax revenue sources has not significantly lagged. Boonstra also notes the Police Department is seeing an income side budget shortfall. The budget had been set at $31,000 but only has seen 7% of that come in over a 4-month period. Boonstra recommends increasing fines or adjusting the budget. He also notes that in 2021 and 2022 there are no income increases known to the city while the basic operating costs will increase by $80,000 each year due to contractual obligations.

  • Hear recommendation from Property Committee asking for price for parcel at west end of 1st

Discussion: Tabled until next meeting for review.

  • Add Additional Liquor Licenses

Discussion: Dan Dolan plans to request a C license to add a restaurant at the dispensary location with a drive thru window. Boonstra reminds the council that a C license requires that 60% of income must be generated by food and beverage sales when video gaming is involved and food must be prepared on site. There is a possible available C license that may be revoked or released by a current holder. Revocation possible if not used for 60 days. Mayor Ottens recommends adding a C license. Timing would be of the essence for Dan Dolan. General council agreement on adding a new Class C restaurant for a full restaurant to be reviewed at next meetings.

There is an additional request for an A1 license, which captures liquor, wine, and beer sales for off premise consumption. Currently Fulton has two of these licenses, which are already issued. The request at hand would be add a license.

Gurlabh Singh presented his idea for a multi unit business housed out of the old 3D trailer sale building. As presented, one space of the soon to be split unit building, would be a restaurant/food establishment, offering eat-in and carryout pizza and ice cream. The other unit would be a convenience type store that would sell liquor, beer, wine, off the shelf items as are typical of a convenience store. Mr. Singh is requesting an additional license be added for him to open this business as presented.

Alderman VanKampen and Crosthwaite voiced concern about having too many packaged liquor stores in one area in Fulton. Alderman VanKampen voices opposition to the issuance of a new license.

Satinder Grewal presented his opposition to the addition of this license as the new store would be directly across the street from his business, Eagle River Liquor. Mr. Grewal cites his $850,000.00 investment in Eagle River. He believes that another A1 enabled store across the street would erode his revenue making his business unviable, jeopardizing the jobs of his employees and his ability to continue to invest in his property.

It was noted potential license applicant Baupin owns a liquor store in Clinton currently and has business interests in clothing sales. Mr. Singh notes there is a need for an ice cream shop. He also notes that competition should be welcome and his goal is to serve a maximum number of customers coupling his ability to sell alcohol and food next door to each other. A B1 liquor license was offered as alternative to the A1, which captures only packaged beer and wine. Mr. Singh notes they would prefer A1 and need to know the council’s decision by the end of October while they already own building.

The topic will be revisited at the next council meeting. It was offered to the public presenters the opportunity to reach out to the council member.

  • Presentation of proposed ordinance to allow the city to access CURE funds for reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses.

Discussion: City Administrator Boonstra noted this must be approved by October 1, 2020. Amount is up $143,000 in available funds but City has only identified less than $10,000 in recoverable expenses. Final amount has not yet been identified.

  • Discussion on methods to ensure garbage cans are removed from curbside within 24 hours of garbage pickup.

Discussion: Ottens asks the council, what are the appropriate standards for leaving the cans at the street and what is the appropriate enforcement incentive? Alderman Crosthwaite proposes that since garbage needs to be out at 6am the day of pickup, giving residents 24 hours from then to bring in the cans. Police Chief Bartels notes that public safety is already stretched thin and would not encourage the council to go with a knock on the door type enforcement. He suggests patrolling officers making a note and submitting it to the water/trash billing department to add a fine or warning to the citizen in question’s monthly bill. Chief Bartels notes $25.00 initial fine and increase the fine by $25.00 after each infraction up to a limit of $100.00. This new ordinance would be publicized on the water bill. Item and options to be considered by Attorney Shirk.

  • Discussion on possible Real Estate tax rebates for proposed housing developments in the 1000 block of 14th Avenue and 1100 block of 7th

Discussion: Boonstra notes this would be to incentivize developments by allowing developers to offer this is an add on to encourage a sale. It is noted there is a similar rebate program in Clinton. Council agrees it is important to build in Fulton and to move forward with this item.

  • Recommendation for RFP for replacing roof on Andressen Center and possible window replacements.

Discussion: This center is city owned and needs maintenance. Public works director Clark notes the window replacement and roof is already in the works.

  • Video Gaming Income.

Discussion: N/A

  • Discussion on sidewalk repairs from August 10, 2020 storm.

Discussion: Some tress brought down in the storm have damaged sidewalks. The city code notes that sidewalk repairs are the responsibility of the homeowner. Dan Clark notes that the city has historically shared costs of new sidewalks. More info will be available when tree roots are removed shortly. Council agrees that if the tree is the cities property, the city will face the costs of replacement.

  • Committee Chair Reports
  • Finance Committee – N/A
  • Public Property- N/A
  • Public Safety- Alderman Crosthwaite noted that an Ordinance Officer is being considered to ensure a yearly inspection at rental properties around the city.
  • Parks & Recreation- N/A
  • Marina- N/A
  • Zoning- N/A
  • Economic Development- N/A
  • Mayor’s Report – Ottens requests the council’s input on Halloween Trick or Treating in the COVID era. He noted Clinton has committed to having trick or treating on Oct 31 from 6-8PM. Ottens and the council agree to allow trick or treating to continue without some further outbreak as long as current safety standards apply.
  • City Administrators Report – N/A
  • Aldermen Reports – N/A
  • Public Works Director, Dan Clark – Noted 1st avenue project is behind another week, may need council input on drainage issues in the future.
  • Police Chief, Dave Bartels – N/A
  • Tourism, Aaron Fullan – N/A
  • Historical Society – N/A

5. Adjourn

Respectfully Submitted,

David C Gibbons

Clerk – City of Fulton