The City Council meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays 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.
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