By Lauren Zeugner
Syracuse Town Council opened its August meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 18, by having Council President Paul Stoelting proclaim the week of Aug. 23 Women’s Suffrage Centennial Week in celebration of the passing of the 19th amendment. The meeting was held via Zoom.
Mark Knecht, president of Chautauqua Wawasee was on hand for the reading of the proclamation. Chautauqua Wawasee has several events planned during the week of Aug. 23 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Knecht announced U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, of Indiana’s Third District, will be attending the old fashioned ice cream social set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, which is part of the celebration. He noted she will not be able to stay long due to another engagement.
In other matters, the council quickly approved an appropriation of $255,376.12 from the Local Road & Bridge Matching Grant fund for a CCG project. Also approved was an emergency ordinance providing the transfer of funds from various departments. Approved was moving $4,500 from insurance; $2,000 from service contracts; $5,500 from all repairs; $5,000 dues, training and subscriptions and $3,000 from new equipment to part-time employees for a total of $20,000.
In new business, the council also approved two economic development agreements with companies that plan to move into the Syracuse Technology Park. Aluminum Insights and Legacy Wood Creations have both purchased lots in the park.
Aluminum Insights does aluminum extrusion while Legacy Wood Creations manufactures and markets high-end custom cabinetry.
In the town manager’s report, Mike Noe told the council there is a task order for the Brooklyn Street expansion project and a credit coming back to the town.
Jeremy Hardy, of Commonwealth Engineering, the town’s engineering firm, reported two intersections Main and Railroad and Brooklyn and Main need improvements for truck traffic to move in and out of the Polywood campus. Commonwealth is recommending survey and engineering work begin at a cost of $137,000 with the total cost for the project to be around $1.2 million.
Hardy explained an application for a Crossroads Community Grant will be submitted to help defray the costs, however a call for grant applications is not expected until January 2021.
Noe explained the task order is for $137,000 for the preliminary engineering work. The credit is for a reduction in the contract for work on Medusa Street for $32,900.
Councilman Larry Siegel asked how the engineering work would be funded. Noe said probably bond anticipation notes or bonds themselves. Siegel expressed concern the proper pay structure be put in place before the work starts. Hardy explained a time table could be put in place for payment.
Noe also stated funds from the economic development income tax or the town manager’s budget could be used with the bonds reimbursing those funds at a later date. Siegel stressed the project needs to be structured financially. Noe pointed out without the engineering work, there is no way to figure the total cost of the project.
The council approved paying for the engineering for $137,000.
In the public works report, Noe informed the council the street department recently finished cleaning up all the storm damage from the Aug. 10 storm.
On the water department side, a high service pump went out and was recently pulled for repairs. Noe told the council he doesn’t have a cost estimate on the repairs.
The council approved $12,000 to fix a FVD that went out at the wastewater treatment plant. Noe said the original estimate was for $10,663 but there were a number of unknowns regarding the repairs.
The council also approved paying $9,500 for a new furnace for the grit room where the influent pumps are kept. The furnace went out late last spring.
Police Chief Jim Layne reported Officer Gary Clark will be leaving the department. Clark has been with the department a little more than five years, starting as a reserve officer. Layne asked the council to waive the education/training reimbursement contract for Clark since while working as a reserve prior to being hired, he was working for the town for free.
Clark has about five months left on his education/training reimbursement contract, which would cost about $1,000. Layne noted Clark is going into a private-sector job, not another law enforcement job. The town approved waiving the contract.
Applications are now being accepted for a new officer. Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 36.