The council then got down to business by approving the 2013 budget. The total budget is $3,332,796 with a total property tax levy of $1,766,194 and a total tax rate of 0.9565. The budget was approved by a vote of 4 to 1 with Larry Siegel, council president, voting against.“I personally have difficulty raising the tax rate, especially in these times. I don’t have an (alternative) solution (to what has been presented),” he said before casting his vote.
The council approved a fair housing ordinance and an ordinance to create town budget accounts, as well.
Ken Jones, president of Wightman Petrie, the town’s engineering firm, presented the monthly report on the SR 13/U.S. 6 Industrial Park project. He told the council a pay request would be coming from Cripe Excavating. Julie Kline, clerk-treasurer, told Jones the request was approved in the claims docket earlier in the meeting, but she doesn’t have all the necessary paperwork yet.
Jones reported work is progressing well in the project. Grading work has been underway and may be going along faster than anticipated.
There is a need to pass a sewer pipe under a 12-inch high pressure gas line along SR 13. Jones reported the gas line is actually set deeper than expected, so a change order is probably coming from Cripe Excavating for an additional $2,874 to go the extra depth and install man hole covers as well.
Syracuse Town Manager Henry DeJulia asked if there is a machine that should have shown the depth pre-design. Jones said he would have to check to see what was requested, the request for actual depth measurements wouldn’t have come until construction actually started. Jones also said actually locating the pipe and the depth it’s set at isn’t done until construction.
“When they bid that they knew they had to be two feet under it (the gas line) – they could have inflated their bid slightly to cover that,” said councilman Brian Woody.
Jones said the plans show the gas line buried at 3 feet when it’s actually buried at 5 feet.
H + G Underground Utility is laying water pipe north of town and ran into a problem with a water main. The town’s plans, significantly dated and incomplete, showed a main was along where H + G was working. In actuality it is across the street from where it was thought to be.
Jones said starting with this project, the town will have accurate “as built records” as GPS location equipment will be used. After the project is complete the public works department will be trained to use the records and GPS system.
The town council approved a real estate swap with Polywood at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex.
In the department reports, DeJulia praised the contractors working on the industrial park project. He showed council photos of work being done on SR 13. There was some discussion about a large puddle on one of the roadways in the industrial park after the last rain. It was noted road grading is not complete yet.
For more in-depth coverage of the Syracuse Town Council meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.