Fulton County Board Committee Minutes
Fulton County Board Office, 257 West Lincoln Street, Lewistown, IL 61542
Committee: Special Community Development, Zoning & 200 Anniversary
Meeting Place: 257 W Lincoln, Lewistown, IL
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Date: January 30, 2023
Call in information: 1-425-436-6307
Access code: 835427
1. Call to Order
Laura Kessel (present/xxxxxx)
BJ McCullum (present/xxxxxx) arrived 5:34pm
Ryan Sloan (present/xxxxxx)
Lauren Southwood (present/xxxxxx)
David Widger (present/xxxxxx)
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: John Spangler
ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS: Janice Emmons – Planning and Zoning Director, Julie Russell – Supervisor of Assessment
STAFF: Cindy Simpson – Fulton County Board Administrative Assistant
Guests: Bill Phillips – Chairman Zoning Board of Appeals, Sally Clark – Member Zoning Board of Appeals and Lewistown City Counsel Representive, Cole McDaniel – Executive Director of Spoon River Partnership for Economic Development – by phone
2. Roll Call
Roll call was taken, quorum was present
3. Call for Additions/Deletions to and Approval of the Agenda
Member Southwood moved to approve the agenda with a second from Member Sloan. Motion carried by roll call vote (4-0).
4. Announcements, Communications and Correspondence
Janice Emmons Zoning Director, discussed she received communications from Leeward Energy regarding a potential solar project in Fulton County. The project will be reviewed at the Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing on March 1, 2023 at the Farm Bureau building, Lewistown, IL.
5. Public Comments – None
6. New Business
a. Discussion/Action: Project Planning Process for solar and other potential development projects
Member Kessel discussed processes are needed for solar and wind projects being worked on in Fulton County. People have been contacting many of the county officials.
The thought process behind the discussion is Fulton County needs a point of contact person and a process in place for initial questions from companies. Member Kessel would like the Community Development, Zoning committee to work on an initial checklist to provide to companies. When offices in Fulton County receive inquires, they should direct the caller to Cole McDaniel at SRPED to collect the information for the proposed project. After projects are determined, Cole McDaniel will bring the project to the proper committee for action from Fulton County.
Supervisor of Assessment Julie Russell felt streamlining the process on initial projects in Fulton County will be very beneficial to everyone.
Cole is willing to do a deep dive into the projects to see how legitimate the project is and direct the potential project managers or companies to the proper officials. Cole will provide a report the Fulton County Board on how many inquiries are being received by SPRED.
Member Kessel discussed what the potential questions are and what needs to be included in the one-page document.
Other questions are where the company is in the process, what is the time-line, have landowners been contacted, is land under contract. Also where the company is in the permitting process,
what is the total megawatt capacity of the project and the total megawatt nameplate capacity, the total acres the project will encompass and will GIS mapping need to be completed.
Russell stated a one-page document for taxpayers with contact information and processes that will happen, would be great and would be a huge time saver for her office and other offices.
Member Kessel suggested putting the document on the Fulton County website.
Bill Phillips discussed having a timeline on land acquisitions and how projects are being funded –privately, corporate or other means.
Russell stated 911 & ETSB need to be included due to possible emergencies that may occur on the project site. Keith Munter, Fulton County Highway Engineer, needs to be included due to the roads being used in Fulton County.
Zoning Officer Janice Emmons provided a list of items that are needed for zoning and the next steps.
Bill Phillips discussed hazardous materials being used during construction and decommissioning needs to be addressed.
Russell stated the Eco cad report needs to be reviewed. This is focused on the analysis of environmental impact and eco sustainability. Companies’ contact information needs to be provided regarding putting energy on the grid.
Member Southwood inquired how many potential solar projects are there in Fulton County. Supervisor of Assessment Russell stated that currently there are four potential solar projects in Fulton County.
Member Sloan inquired if Fulton County has any solar farms currently. Russell stated there are two solar farms in Fulton County, one North and West of Farmington and one South on route 24 behind the Josh Weiss residence.
Russell stated the BES Systems (Battery Energy Storage Systems) are used to store solar and wind power. The power stored is used for peak usage times. There is statutory language being worked on to tax the BES Systems as real property as this is storage of energy for commercial gain.
7. Old Business
a. Discussion/Action: 200th Anniversary Event Planning
Member Kessel discussed the actual date of the 200th Anniversary for Fulton County was January 28, 2023. Clerk O’Brian held a kick-off event for the 200th year Anniversary at the Fulton County Courthouse from the front steps with an Abraham Lincoln impersonator giving the Gettysburg Address at the event.
Member Kessel discussed numerous ideas for the upcoming year of events for the 200th Anniversary. Member Kessel provided some potential dates for events throughout Fulton County.
Member Kessel inquired where in Fulton County the committee wants to have events.
Suggestions for a spring or fall event were discussed. One question is what will draw people to come to the 200th Anniversary events, food, music or bands.
Member McCullum suggested a traveling event throughout Fulton County and coinciding with current festivals or celebrations throughout Fulton County Communities.
Member Sloan suggested events with kids would a draw for parents and grandparents to attend.
Sally Clark suggested the memorabilia be housed at the Lewistown Visitors Center and activities in the park across from the courthouse could coincide with events.
Member Kessel discussed a one day event that area businesses could be participate in; the Health department could hand out information.
Discussion was had on what is it best to show the history of Fulton County.
Members suggested having speakers from each town to portray the history of their specific town or some areas of Fulton County, and pictures from each area could be shared.
A suggestion to invite all the town mayors, and school boards to planning events to spotlight their community.
Member Kessel stated if the committee delegates each town to have their history is there any uninformative to the project and will it get lost with some participating and some doing nothing for their area.
Members discussed having events that interest all the generations to promote participation throughout Fulton County.
Members suggested different bands with music for all age groups from Fulton County for the finality of the 200th Anniversary celebration. Do a “taste of Fulton County” with different foods from restaurants that make up Fulton County.
Members suggested having an information booth at the Fulton County Fair with dates of upcoming events for the 200th Anniversary celebration.
A suggestion of providing a QR code to download to smart phones or electronic devices for a self-guided tour through out Fulton County’s history was made.
Members suggested getting the local actors and actresses involved in the celebration, and maybe do skits or producing a play.
Julie Russell suggested getting the High Schools involved through the history classes.
Member Kessel will take the lead on the big project and will send letters to specific groups, and posting on Facebook asking for community participants.
8. Executive Session – None
Member Widger moved to adjourn at 6:26pm with a second from Member Sloan. Motion carried by roll call vote (5-0).
Minutes Special Community Development Zoning Jan 30 2023