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City of Fulton Tourism Committee Minutes, November 11, 2020

City of Fulton Tourism Committee Meeting

November 11, 2020

4:30 PM

Aaron Fullan called the meeting to order.

All Committee members were present, including new member Carol Fritz who has agreed to represent the American Crafters henceforth. Also present was Rebecca Huizenga, representing the Downtown Christmas Walk Planners.

Updates were provided by Committee members who were present.

Barb Mask continues to accommodate tours and process genealogy and research requests at the Martin House. Otherwise, the museum is closed.

Jude Holesinger informed the Committee that the windmill grinded multiple grain varieties that are currently for sale at the Fulton Meat Market. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Jude is unsure when future grinding will occur. She also noted that a couple lights up on the riverfront viewing area of the windmill are no longer working and said she would try to get them fixed ASAP. Lastly, Jude said she would contact our local American Legion about retiring and replacing the American flag that is currently flying at the windmill.

The Cultural Center remains closed for the time being. Neil Luker has fulfilled another grain order since last month and continues to do maintenance at the center as needed.

Brian Tomman updated the Committee about Heritage Canyon’s recent volunteer/scout cleanup. Brian also shared about the recent theft of vintage signs displayed in the covered bridge. Some have been found, some are still missing. Jude Holesinger did some planting down at the canyon.

Kyle Kopf continues to host approximately 2 groups per month at the Andreson Nature Center. Kyle also mentioned that he would like to see a path cleared from the canyon/center to the Reagan burial site. He would just need steps constructed and some signs from the city to make it happen. In other news, Kyle released (almost singlehandedly) 300 monarch butterflies this year!

Paula Ensinger informed the Committee that the stores at the intersection at 11th Avenue and 4th Street seem to be doing well, but other than that, it’s a sorry state of affairs. Retail Development Committee (Jude Holesinger is our rep on that committee) is brainstorming ideas for potential future businesses.

Carol Fritz announced a need for more volunteers for the American Crafters. She also gave an encouraging update regarding the upcoming Christmas Walk at Heritage Canyon. Trolley is booked, designated parking is planned, COVID-friendly plans are all set, etc.

Bran Tomman suggested each tourism spot donate the cost of their individual directional signs on the new tourism sign downtown to free up funds from the original grant and help offset the cost of completing the sign (map, kiosk, etc.). All points of interest responded positively and affirmatively. Aaron will consult with RK Graphics to get more specific details regarding the cost of each directional sign as well as the cost of the map to be added.

Jude Holesinger agreed to visit Public Works and assess the damaged Rt. 84 “Spend Some Time In Fulton” sign that is currently being stored there. Committee will decide how to proceed once that assessment takes place.

Brian Tomman and Aaron Fullan will work together to acquire 3 sandwich board signs similar to the one Brian currently has at Heritage Canyon. Initial signs needed as inserts are as follows: Christmas Walk, Handicapped Parking, and Heritage Canyon Shuttle.

House Decoration Contest is now set in motion. Aaron will try to figure out a way to provide a virtual signup form. Cash prizes will be as follows: 1st Place ($100), 2nd Place ($50), and 3rd Place ($25). Entries will be limited to residents in Fulton Township. Aaron will try to get an article about the contest placed in the Fulton Journal/Clinton Herald. Brian Tomman, Paula Ensinger, and Carol Fritz volunteered to be the 3 judges for the competition. Deadline for entries will be December 1st and judging deadline will be December 5th. Aaron will contact Mike Willis at Elite Graphics about potentially creating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place signs for us.

Rebecca Huizenga provided a brief update regarding the downtown constituent’s decision to not host a Christmas Walk this year. Reasons included store capacity restrictions due to COVID-19, concerns regarding donation solicitation from businesses that are financially struggling because of the pandemic, cost of decorations, etc.

A discussion took place regarding possible new city decorations for the downtown district. The old ones are apparently quite distressed and damaged (yet well-loved). Kiwanis new décor fund currently sits at $3,000. A more significant investment will be needed to replace the entire fleet of downtown pole décor.

Barb Mask gave an update regarding the old Drives building. The Historical Society is still waiting for grant to go through to help with the cost of renovation. Currently, they are just working on the general upkeep of the building.

Jude Holesinger mentioned the possibility of someday creating a self-guided tour app for the city of Fulton in case restrictions on tourism should continue through the following year.

Barb Mask asked that everyone scout out a possible location for the Lincoln Highway sign/mural that currently resides at the Public Works building.

There will be no Tourism Committee meeting held in December. Aaron will contact Committee with a potential January date for the next meeting.

Published in Public Meeting Minutes

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