City of Fulton City Council met Feb. 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Special Meeting and Budget Workshop Mayor Ottens called the meeting to order at 9:05 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 citizens Jane Orman-Luker and Zach Ratcliff. No media representatives attended.
Pledge of allegiance was recited.
BUDGET WORKSHOP DISCUSSION
City Administrator Boonstra opened the meeting with the first item on the agenda for discussion – Fund 77, known as the PD Canine Fund. It is recommended to use the existing Fund that is already established in the software system, but instead of a separate check book that is currently being used, to close that book out and implement everything into the general accounts in the CIVIC software system. This has been highly recommended by the City Auditors, which they state will be more transparent, and will show more clarity on revenues and expenses that go in and out of the account, to the council and citizens. At the present time, there is balance of $22,548 in the account, but checks can be paid out of the account through April 30, 2020, which is the end of the current fiscal year. At that time the remaining amount will be transferred from the checkbook into the General Ledger of the City’s software system, for the upcoming new fiscal year beginning May 1. At that time there will be budgeted items (expenses and revenues) that will be submitted by the Police Department, with input being directly made by Sergeant Hamilton who is the City’s canine handler, on what is needed for his program to run smoothly for the new fiscal year. City Administrator Boonstra strongly recommends that the Canine Program still proceed with the Foundation to process fund raising, which in turn is also recommended by the Police Department. The process will continue with the help of Alderman Mask and Ms. Jane Orman-Luker providing much valuable information on the process.
Proposal of the new Capital Budget. CA Boonstra explains that he would like to implement a new fund that just deals with any, and all capital budgeted items for all the various departments. The new fund would be a combined group that would show all revenues and expenses relating to any capital purchases. He believes it would be beneficial and easier for the council and public to see all large ticket items in one area, instead of in each individual department. All budgeted revenues and expenses would be on a one page report from the various departments. (mainly Police, Parks, Streets and Public Works) Large ticket capital expenses, for example might include vehicle purchases, mower purchases, computer equipment, etc.). This new capital fund proposal would also be beneficial for long term budgeting, as far as a 5 or 10 year plan. It would enable the council and departments in budgeting for upcoming large expenses and would get us into a pattern of where the funding and financing would come from in the future. PW Director Clark, stated he was not in favor of a separate fund. He believes it will cloud the budget up and is not a “good” picture of the individual accounts. Mayor Ottens asked for a straw pole vote from the aldermen to see if this should proceed to the finance committee for further investigation. All were in agreement to take to the next step.
Proposed 5% Cuts. CA Administrator Boonstra presented a budget proposal that took into consideration 5% cuts that were submitted by each department. He also presented “new income” that could be considered to offset the deficit. New income would come from possible increasing Liquor License Fees, Cannabis Retail License and a Cannabis Craft Growing License. These fees could project an estimated $24,500 in new revenue sources. Expense cuts were submitted from each department. Under the General Government funds, it has considered to cut from legal services, elected official salaries, dues and memberships, travel and training expenses, utilities, office supplies, community relations, council special projects, misc. expense and the annual windmill steering contribution. Discussion followed from citizen and Windmill Steering Committee representative, Ms. Jane Orman-Luker, asking the council to please not cut the annual $5000 contribution to the committee, stating that this money helps with the daily operations that are not in their budget. Jane stated that the volunteers give hundreds of hours of their time to maintain and run the operations at the windmill and museum smoothly, down to the general janitorial services to keep the buildings clean. Aldermen Mask and VanKampen totally agreed, and it was a general all around consensus from the rest of the aldermen to keep the $5000 in the budget. Moving forward with the PW Departments. Director Clark will cut 5% from his Depreciation Fund in the amount of $25.347. Police Department suggested making cuts from the Canine overtime program, uniform allowance, software service contracts, ammunition, the removal of a new squad care and miscellaneous equipment fund. Discussion also took place on transferring funds from the Video Gaming Fund (130,000+) and or the Garbage Fund (104,000+) to help with the deficit. Further discussions will take place with the finance committee and at the upcoming council meetings. CA Boonstra will move forward with working with that committee and the staff for a future submission of a draft budget.
With no further discussion, the budget workshop closed with Alderman Mask motioning and Alderman Crosthwaite, seconding to adjourn.
With voice roll call all were in agreement.
The meeting closed at 10:50 am.