Starting November 1, 2017 the City Council will meet on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. The City Council meets in the Council Chambers of Fulton City Hall, 415 11th Avenue. Council meetings are open to the public.
Mayor Russell called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the city clerk to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barb Mask, Gene Field, Margaret Crosthwaite, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen, Wes Letcher and Mike Van Zuiden answered “present.” Ald. Howard Van Zuiden was absent. Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, Bill Shirk – City Attorney, Melissa Wiebenga- Tourism/Community Services Director, Dan Clark- Public Works Director, Clink Kettler– Zoning Officer, James Rhoades- Chief of Police, and Amanda Fosdick- City Treasurer.
The pledge of allegiance was recited. No invocation was given.
There was no communication from visitors
First on the agenda, Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions on the last regular meeting minutes or the meeting continuation minutes. Ald. Mask said that Ald. Van Zuiden should be referred to in the last regular council meeting minutes as “Mayor Pro-tem” since Mayor Russell was absent. Ald. Field motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the January 5, 2015 regular council meeting minutes and January 12, 2015 continuation meeting minutes. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Next Mayor Russell asked if there were any questions on the bill list. With no questions, Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. Mike Van Zuiden to approve the bill list. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Then Mayor Russell asked if anyone had questions on the Treasurer’s Report. Ald. Mask asked what the $147,198 under Economic Development Fund meant. Mayor Russell explained a loan was taken out a few years ago with the intention to sell properties throughout the city. The money was to be used for studies and research in that process. Mayor Russell also commented on how the city has 6-7 months in reserves. He said the city is in good shape and will be able to invest some money into one or more Mapping project that would have a good return on investment. City Treasurer Fosdick explained the % Variance of Expenditures to Budget graph is a bit skewed because they closed a fund and added a new one. Ald. Letcher motioned, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Next, Goal 3 group from the Mapping Committee was invited to share their goals for Riverfront Development. The group was represented by group members: Bob Whitten, Travis Ray, and Stacy Gates. The group shared their goal statement, “Fulton’s gorgeous location on the Mississippi River has been developed into a major draw for the community. Families enjoy walks, bike rides, and picnics along the waterfront. The river itself is widely used for festivals, events, and many boaters dock near the windmill in Fulton to enjoy the city.” Possible strategies the group shared were: Riverfront amphitheater by the windmill, municipal boat dock near the windmill, a river taxi, a restaurant with access/view to the river, and festivals & events on the dike. The group is currently working with the Dutch Days Committee to have a Concert Fundraiser for the Amphitheater immediately following the Dutch Days parade.
The first item for consideration was approving Ordinance 1521. Recent changes to the Illinois Open Meetings Act require government bodies to establish written rules to allow public comment at every public meeting. This ordinance grants the City Council authority to establish or amend the rules by majority vote. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve Ordinance 1521, Creating rules for Citizen Participation at Public Meetings. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Second, Ald. Crosthwaite motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to approve the rules for citizen participation at all Fulton Public Meetings. These rules proscribe the procedures for 3 separate times the public would be allowed to participate during meetings: 1) public comment time on agenda, 2) during discussion of an agenda time, and 3) during a public hearing. The rules will be posted in the Council Chambers and on the city website. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Third, Public Works Director, Dan Clark explained that a bearing failure has taken out a pump at the waste water treatment facility. Public Works received two quotes: $13,887 to replace the pump, and $8,101.53 to repair (plus freight) from Electric Pump. PW Director Clark recommends repairing the existing pump using Fund 55 (Water/Sewer Depreciation). Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Mike Van Zuiden to approve pump repair using Fund 55. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried.
Fourth, Mayor Russell asked for the Council to discuss their options in regard to the Zajicek development. Mr. Zajicek and his attorney presented modifications to the development agreement on January 5, 2015. Ald. Mask asked the three visitors what they think of the situation. All three visitors were local business owners who are neighbors to Mr. Zajicek’s building. They asked the council what their decision was. Ald. Mike Van Zuiden said he disagrees with making any changes to the agreement, Ald. Mask felt the same way. Ald. Mask said he made no attempt to come back to the Council and ask to make changes in the earlier stages and she stressed the location is especially important because of future development. Ald. Van Kampen also agreed with Ald. Mike Van Zuiden and said they should stick to the contract. Ald. Field said the whole thing has been going on too long and that they need to take action to respect the other business owners neighboring Mr. Zajicek. City Attorney Shirk advised the Council to get it on the next agenda, vote, and then give Mr. Zajicek the opportunity to remedy the building. If he is unable or unwilling to remedy the building and abide their contract then the Council does have until November 4, 2015 to buy back the property for $32,365. City Administrator Canon wanted to point out that no one ever stopped him from construction, he just stopped once he received the letter from Administrator Cannon back in August. Ald. Van Zuiden said he feels like the Council has given him nearly five months now to remedy the building, but instead has stopped construction and asked the Council to change their contract. It was also brought up that Mr. Zajicek has a large pit on his property that he was illegally dumping construction debris into. The police department sent him a letter saying it needed to be cleaned up. Visitor, Mike Ottens said the pit is a safety hazard as he’s seen kids playing near. Visitor, Randy Boonstra, asked the Council why Mr. Zajicek’s building didn’t have the same set back as the other building next to them. Mayor Russell said it wasn’t something they considered or thought they’d have to specify. He suggested the Council have some sort of rules in place for building setback for future developers. Jerry Starbuck, owner of Starbuck Machinery, is the next door neighbor to Mr. Zajicek’s property. Mr. Starbuck said he brought a plan to the council for his building and built the exact plan he showed the council. When he asked the city to buy his land he was told there would not be storage units in the Industrial Center and the building next to him has 32 garage doors on it. He asked that the Council make a decision soon. Mayor Russell thanked the visitors for coming and the Aldermen for good discussion.
As for old business, visitor Randy Boonstra asked if the agenda has been put on the website yet. Administrator Cannon said he will ask Tammy to email it to Melissa the Friday before a meeting to be posted online.
Mayor Russell reported that its time to check the city auditors. Administrator Cannon said the city has been using the same company for the last 17 years.
City Administrator Cannon had nothing to report.
PW Director Clark said they have until the end of February to get the sewer cleaning done. However they do have until June to collect surveys for the grant needed to pay for sewer repairs.
Chief of Police, Rhoades summarized his written report and also mentioned they are working together with the schools to find out a better way for traffic flow at the elementary and middle schools.
Melissa Wiebenga, Tourism/Community Services Director, reviewed upcoming events at the RFCC and also that she will be on “Paula Sands Live” next Tuesday to talk about the RFCC.
Ald. Van Kampen said they are going to proceed with getting a lease agreement with Doug and Kevin for the Marina. They have a minimal list of things they want addressed before they rent the building. Ald. Van Kampen will bring the agreement to the Council for them to review and approve.
Ald. Mask reported the Mapping Committee will have a meeting Wednesday night at the RFCC with all five goal committees. She also reported that the Drives Building Exploration group met January 9th. January 17th Dave Vogel gave a tour of the Drives building to about twenty people. She said there is a lot of interest in this project from the community. Lastly, Ald. Mask handed out forms to the Aldermen for City Administrator Cannon’s annual performance review.
Ald. Van Kampen asked PW Director Clark if the city could put gravel down on 16th Place. He explained that it’s private property and the city doesn’t maintain that road. Ald. Field suggested sending the resident a letter explaining why the city doesn’t maintain the road.
A motion was made by Ald. Mask, seconded by Ald. Nederhoff to discuss personnel. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent / motion carried. Council went into closed session at 7:05 PM.
Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Van Kampen to return to main session. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent / motion carried. Council returned to main session at 7:20 PM.
Ald. Mask shared that she spoke with someone in the General Assembly and Governor Rauner doesn’t want the cultivation centers so it could be delayed. The process is complete and the decisions are made they just haven’t been released.
With no further business, Ald. Field moved, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to adjourn. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 7:27 PM.
Minutes recorded by,
Fulton City Clerk
Alderman Howard Van Zuiden called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM and directed the city clerk to call the roll. On roll call Ald. Barb Mask, Gene Field, Margaret Crosthwaite, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen, Howard Van Zuiden, and Mike Van Zuiden answered "present." Ald. Wes Letcher and Mayor Larry Russell were absent. Also in attendance were Ed Cannon- City Administrator, Bill Shirk – City Attorney, Melissa Wiebenga- Tourism/Community Services Director, Dan Clark- Public Works Director, Clink Kettler– Zoning Officer, and Dave Bartels- Patrol Officer.
The pledge of allegiance was recited. Pastor Kevin gave the invocation.
First on the agenda, City Clerk, Jackie Wilkin swore in Michael Van Zuiden as 4th Ward Alderman.
Next, Goal 2 group from the Mapping Committee was invited to share their goals for Parks and Recreation. Goal 2 had the second most votes when the Mapping Group was deciding their top 5 goals. Lynne Coffey spoke on behalf of the group. Others who were also present from the group included: Brad Stuart, Brad Houzenga, and Rick Mason. Mrs. Coffey shared a few of the goals of the group are to update current parks in town, start a Park District, add exercise stations on the bike path, and add equipment rentals at Cattail park. Other projects mentioned were updating the website with a complete list of recreational activities in Fulton for visitors and creating a Splash Pad for the summer months. Ald. Mask asked if they ever thought about adding a "pool bus" to transport kids from Fulton to the Clinton pool. Mrs. Coffey said it was definitely something they could look into. City Administrator Cannon shared that this group is helping with the development of the new park in the 3rd Ward.
Next, Ald. Van Zuiden asked that we skip to discussing the Zajicek development agreement. Jeff Zajicek's attorney, Magen Mertes, addressed the Council with their proposal to change the original purchase agreement from 2013. Ms. Mertes shared Mr. Zajicek's amendments to the agreement which included:
• The building be at least 8,000 square feet instead of 10,000 square feet
• The front 170 feet, rather than 230 feet, of the property shall not be rented or used for self-storage of personal property
• Remove "The City may require the Developer to obtain occupancy permits for each tenant, at no cost for a permit, if the terms of this Agreement are not substantially complied with by the Developer".
Ms. Mertes described how the 4 most northerly offices directly behind the front portion of the building will be available to rent for office space. They are not insulated or heated yet, but do have electricity, a man door, and a window. She expressed how if these spaces are not rented as office space that Mr. Zajicek would like to be able to rent them for self-storage so that he can still service his loan. This is where the occupancy agreement is unclear and they do not want to have restrictions on the renter for these four units. Ald. Mask expressed how it was very important to the Council that this building wasn't storage units because the land/location is an Industrial Center that the city wants this area available to viable businesses. Ald. Field said that according to the design it looks like there will be a lot of personal storage. Ald. Crosthwaite asked if he knew the building was supposed to be 10,000 square foot why did he apply for a building permit for only 8,000 square foot. Mr. Zajicek said once he started getting bids for the amount of fill he would need, he decided to go smaller because the bids were already $4000 more than he'd budgeted for. He applied for the building permit with Mr. Kettler and assumed the city was okay with it. However, it is not Mr. Kettler's responsibility to know what agreement Mr. Zajicek had made with the city. Ald. Field asked Mr. Zajicek if he was really prepared to build this type of building if he didn't have tenants lined up. He then asked a couple neighboring business owners who were present at the meeting how they felt about Mr. Zajicek's business in the Industrial Center. Mike Ottens, Visual Imaging, said he, along with several other neighboring business owners, met this fall with the Mayor and Mr. Zajicek and they all agreed it looked like storage sheds. Mr. Ottens said they are all supportive of business suites but not storage sheds. Mr. Ottens cautioned the Council that the way they handle this issue may set precedence for how agreements/contracts in the future are treated by other business owners or even city of Fulton residents. Ald. Van Zuiden announced that it was time to move on and thanked the Zajicek's for coming.
The next item for consideration was the FY 2015/2016 Budget Calendar. City Administrator Cannon asked the Council if they'd be able to attend a budget priority workshop on Monday, January 12, at 5:30PM. The Council agreed this time would work. This workshop will serve as a review of last year's budget priorities, review the goals and strategies identified during the October Mapping sessions, and establish FY2016 goals and priorities. Two additional workshops are proposed for February 16th and March 2nd. The Public Hearing is scheduled for April 6th.
The next three items on the agenda were ordinances pertaining to the TIF. Attorney Shirk said they can all be approved with one vote. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to approve the following ordinances: Ordinance 1518: An Ordinance Approving the Tax increment Financing District Eligibility Study and Redevelopment Plan and Project for the Illinois Route 84 and 31st Avenue Redevelopment Project Area, Ordinance 1519: An Ordinance Designating the Illinois Route 84 and 31st Avenue Redevelopment Project Area, and Ordinance 1520: An Ordinance Adopting Tax Increment Financing. Roll call vote/ 7 yes, 1 absent/ motion carried. Ald. Mask said she'd like to know the total cost of the TIF. City Administrator Cannon said he'll find out and let the Council know.
The last item for consideration was the discussion of the Proposed Rules for Citizen Participation. The Open Meetings Act directs all municipalities to establish written rules providing for public comment at every public meeting. City Attorney Shirk has provided two documents for Council to review: 1) a proposed ordinance stating the Council has adopted rules for public participation, and 2) a proposed set of rules. Attorney Shirk added that these rules will be good to have if there are ever a large number of people at a city meeting. Ald. Mask made a motion to approve the ordinance; however it was listed on the agenda as discussion only so the motion was withdrawn and it will be voted on next meeting.
Ald. Van Zuiden asked if there was any old business. Randy Boonstra, local business owner, asked if there was any update on NuMed. City Attorney Shirk said Governor Quinn wanted it decided by the end of 2014, but that didn't happen. It should be soon though.
No Mayor's report.
City Administrator Cannon summarized his written report. Administrator Cannon's report included details on Citizen Participation in Public Meetings and a proposed ordinance to remain compliant with the Open Meetings Act. The report also said the Whiteside County Re-zoning Request was tabled and will be reconsidered February 17th to give the state of Illinois sufficient time to rule on the cultivation license for District 1. Lastly, it mentioned that Administrator Cannon met with Sand Prairie Wireless to discuss their outstanding balance to the 2010 Tower Lease ($16,253) and expanding the free internet service to Public Works and the RFCC. Sand Prairie has agreed to paying the outstanding balance and to expand the internet service. He is also working on renegotiating the tower lease.
Ald. Mask said they have set three public meetings for January 8, 22, and 30 for opinions and discussion for usage of the Drives building.
Melissa Wiebenga, Tourism/Community Services Director, reported that she was pleased with the turn out for their event in the RFCC on December 20th. Eighty people, fifty of those children, attended the event and about $100 was raised in donations. The event was funded by Bob Whitten, owner of Awesometown Music/Video Productions. She also reported that a Facebook page has been started for the RFCC as a way to communicate events that are coming up. She is now getting ready for a Cabin Fever event that will take place at the end of the month in the RFCC.
Clink Kettler, Zoning Officer, reported that there were 48 building permits issued in 2014 regenerating $590,104. He said this is the lowest it's been in the last five years.
With no further business, Ald. Field moved, seconded by Ald. Crosthwaite to adjourn to next Monday, January 12th, to the Budget Workshop. With voice agreement, the meeting adjourned at 6:53 PM
Minutes recorded by,
Fulton City Clerk