Parent, who is purchasing the Oakwood Inn, told the council about his family’s history on Lake Wawasee and his plans for refurbishing Oakwood. He plans to have the once thriving hotel reopened in spring 2013.
The plan, said Parent, is to get Oakwood back to where it was and then move forward. “Whatever it takes to make it work, we’ll try to make it work,” he explained. “We certainly aren’t going to do anything to hurt property values or the lake. We have a vested interest in the community.”
Parent stressed the Oakwood Inn will be refurbished and updated into a first class hotel and restaurant. He wants it to be a destination spot.
Councilman Paul Stoelting asked for a proposed time frame for the final sale closing. Rolland said he would like to see the paperwork signed by early September.
Ken Jones, president of Wightman Petrie, the town’s engineering firm, came to the council to provide a monthly report regarding the Industrial/Technology Park at SR 13 and U.S. 6. A pre-bid conference was held Tuesday morning.
Bidding is under way for the utility work to the park. Approximately 15 contractors attended, which Jones said was a good sign. Contractors have until Thursday to ask questions or get clarifications. A special meeting will be held council meeting July 10 to award the bids. Once the town approves the bid, it must be sent to the Economic Development Administration for approval since it is the grant provider.
The council approved Ordinance 12-05 which allowed an appropriation of $6,000 from the Riverboat Revenue Sharing Fund to the Professional Services Fund to cover expenses for appraisal and survey work for the Syracuse Youth Athletic Complex.
The council also approved Ordinance 12-08 an anti-nepotism ordinance. Kline and Mike Reed, town attorney, explained the town already had an anti-nepotism ordinance in place, however, the state legislature passed a new one with very specific language. Reed explained the town could accept this ordinance or come up with its own as long as it was stricter. Kline explained if the new ordinance was not approved, the town’s budget would not be approved.
In the town manager’s report, Henry DeJulia announced he will get numbers for the appraisal of a property swap at the youth complex to the council next month.
He also received the general utility survey for an easement in Oakwood Park for utilities. Jeremy Sponseller, public works superintendent, requested it be clear the town owns the property and is allowing NIPSCO to use it.
Police Chief Tony Ciriello noted the number of calls for service have gone up, but not the severity.
Ciriello also reported on a house fire on Harrison Street saying his men were able to save a family trapped on the second floor. The two police officers and four family members suffered minor smoke inhalation. They were all taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported the Farmers and Artisan Market is averaging 32 vendors a week, which is way up from the past. The park department is working with the chamber on SummerFest events.
In the public works report, the council approved hiring Phend and Brown for paving work for $130,236.73. It approved the waste water treatment center to purchase a portable generator for $2456. The generator will be used at lift stations during power outages.
Sharon Fowler asked what was going on with the housing situation. She noted nothing has been done with ordinance enforcement and there are no reports from the building reports.
Council members told her she is not seeing all that is being done and the building inspector is providing the council reports. DeJulia noted the reports are very detailed, they just aren’t presented at council meetings like other departments.
The Mail-Journal will have a complete accounting of the Syracuse Town Council meeting in the Wednesday edition.