By AMANDA MCFARLAND
A brief but productive special meeting of the Syracuse Town Council Monday night revealed that Syracuse Properties LLC are in compliance with tax abatement. Due to misinterpretation of some data, the council had previously believed that Syracuse Properties LLC was out of compliance and had called the meeting to discuss the issue.
The council also discussed why Precision Automotive was out of compliance with the tax abatement. They listened as Alan Tehan explained the circumstances, noting that due to economic circumstances over the years Precision Automotive had lost several major accounts, one of which included General Motors.
“The last several years have been pretty discouraging,” Tehan said. “When the economy tanked we just sort of said, hold everything.”
The council concluded that, while Precision Automotive was out of compliance, it was due to circumstances beyond their control.
“I’m of the opinion that we’re behind you and hopefully we can turn this around,” Bill Musser said.
The council agreed to continue with Precision Automotive for another year.
The council also heard and passed a resolution pertaining to the purchase and sale of property adjacent to the site of the Syracuse Athletic Complex. The resolution was to express interest in purchasing 1.5 acres owned by P.W. Realty LLC on Brooklyn Street, adjacent to the complex. The resolution further called for the disposal of another 1.5 acres. The council appointed Town Manager Henry DeJulia as the purchasing agent. DeJulia will have the land appraised and will report back to the council.
Clerk-Treasurer Julie Kline asked the board to motion to bring a resolution to the next meeting calling for a loan from the water depreciation fund to the Oakwood maintenance fund, to be paid back over a period of five years. Kline explained that if a loan were to be made from cumulative funds to a property tax fund, that loan would have to be paid back by Dec. 31 this year. However, Kline explained, due to the nature of the loan, it can only be taken from either a water utility or EDIT funds.
A resolution will come before the council at the next meeting to approve the loan.
Henry DeJulia and Public Works Director Jeremy Sponseller asked the council to consider the purchase of a tractor with a side deck for mowing. DeJulia brought up concerns over mowing the state-owned right-of-way along SR 13. The state, DeJulia said, does not make it out often to mow, so the grass grows tall and presents a hazard. DeJulia noted that the town can take care of mowing the right-of-way but does not have the proper equipment to do so. He also expressed concern over using a rotary-type blade, which tends to fling debris. Several years ago, he said, a worker was mowing and a piece of debris flew through the window of a nearby residence.
Paul Stoelting brought up that the widening of SR 13 could happen within the next few years, in which case the right-of-way in question could no longer be a problem.
The new tractor, DeJulia said, could also be fitted with a front-end loader and, though open, could be used as backup on heavy snow days.
The council agreed to look into the possibility of making the purchase.