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NW Illinois News

Thursday, February 27, 2020

City of Fulton City Council met January 18

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Feb 15, 2020

Meetingroom01

City of Fulton City Council met Jan. 18.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

Special Meeting and Budget Workshop

Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 9:10 am and directed the Deputy Clerk to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen – Keith King, Barb Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Gene Field, and Margaret Crosthwaite were present. Aldermen – Paul Banker, Mike VanZuiden and City Clerk Lindsey Nederhoff were absent. Also in attendance were City Administrator Boonstra, PW Director Clark, Chief Bartels, Deputy Clerk Garibay, Sergeant Hamilton, Sergeant Neblung and citizen Jane Orman-Luker.

Pledge of allegiance was recited.

Business

BUDGET WORKSHOP DISCUSSION

Mayor Ottens opened the workshop with a brief description of the state of the city finances. At the present time we are looking at a projected deficit of approximately $164, 505.00 going into the new fiscal year, so we must keep in mind all departments are going to have to make cuts. The deficit does not include any other capital expenses, so plans for major improvements must be put on hold.

At this time Mayor Ottens turned the meeting over to City Administrator Boonstra for a more detailed aspect of the budget.

City Administrator Boonstra opened the meeting with a power point presentation.

The review for the current budget, entailed details through the end of November, month 7 in the fiscal year. At this point the actual Budget to Actual showed a 73.9% total, which includes revenues and expenses, and should be at a 67% overall threshold. General Reserve Trend Line Charts also showed the City’s spending habits over the past 5 years, resulting in a significant decrease in the overall City’s general reserves.

As of the November Treasurer’s Report the percentages of expenses form each department were broken down as follows:

• Recreation and Tourism – 3%

• General Administration – 15%

• Police Department – 52%

• Street Department – 22%

• Parks – 8%

CA Boonstra gave a brief synopsis of the city’s revenue incomes. Revenues are coming in as projected with some minor deficiencies in the Utility Tax Fund, due to citizens being more frugal with energy consumptions and with the cellphone taxes coming in at a lower amount than anticipated.

USE Tax is trending higher due to online sales and vehicle registrations. Once again Alderman Nederhoff reminded the rest of the council, he does not believe we have a revenue problem, but definitely a spending problem , which needs to be addressed, now.

General guidelines for the city’s “Reserves”, should be at 6 months. This is a standard guideline recommended by the City’s Audit Firm, Wipfli. At this time the City should have approximately $800,00 in reserves and at the end of October, per the Treasurer’s report we are sitting at $336,000. Over the last 3 years, over $200,000 (+) has be spent from the Reserves. This reflects donation monies, that were deposited in the general fund several years ago, and had to be paid back to the donor, along with other expenditures.

Water and Sewer Operations were discussed. Being an enterprise fund, along with the Marina, both departments are self-funding. A possible increase in water and sewer sales should be considered in the new budget to offset the lower volume due to consumer efficiencies. This would cover maintenance of the systems.

Marina projects (enterprise fund) are all funded by the income from slip rentals, winter storage, launch passes and fuel sales.

Personnel salaries are mainly all contractual due to both Unions. IMRF contribution is basically remaining the same as last year. Their have been health insurance concerns for rates but the insurance committee is currently working with the broker to find some solution.

Each department was discussed; the Mayor has asked that each department head bring back to the table at the next workshop a plan for a 5% cut, and also a 10% cut in their current budgets - that they submitted.

Supervisors are asked to submit an explanation of needed expenditures, and be able to support their needs with documentation.

Aldermen are also asked to submit their opinions and solutions to balance the budget, with some possibilities of hard cuts. City Administrator Boonstra will work on revenues and expenses, and present several different options.

Fundraising for the Canine Department was discussed. At this time Alderman Mask and citizen Jane Orman- Luker will aid in a possible solution of starting up a private fund for the program. There are a couple different groups to explore. They will be working with Sergeant Hamilton with information of fund raising and setting up a type of endowment for the program.

In summary, an overall income drop will be approximately, $125,000 from the previous fiscal year, due to no sale of assets, an increase in expenditures of $39,713, capital outlays will consist of absolute necessities of Police MDC Units ($13,000), possibility of one PD Squad car (36 month loan – Vehicle price of $36,000) and a mower for Public Works ($7,000), resulting in the projected deficit of $164, 505.00.

OTHER BUSINESS

Motion to request the Zoning Board of Appeals to review proposed ordinance to regulate locations for cannabis related operations. Ald. Mask motioned, seconded by Ald. King. Discussion to follow. No comments. Roll call vote. 6, yes – 2 absent, motioned passed.

Lexipol presentation by Sergeant Neblung. Sgt. Neblung showed a brief video explaining the program. The program’s intent, is the proper writing of department policies, which will be legally compliant with the law. The cost of the program is $7,000 annually. Partial funding would be taken from the current program that they use, “Leads”. Discussion will continue if the Police Department is able to work it into the new budget that they will present at the next meeting.

There will be discussion on the budget at the February 10, 2020 Council Meeting.

With no further discussion, Ald. Crosthwaite motioned, seconded by Ald. Mask to adjourn the meeting. With voice roll call all in agreement. Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

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City of Fulton