The Syracuse Town Council approved paying H+G Underground Utilities $70,045.95 during its regular monthly meeting last night for work already completed at the SR 13 and U.S. 6 industrial/technology park.
Ken Jones, president of Jones Petrie Rafinski, the town’s engineering firm, reported some paving may be done this week at the industrial park. He is still trying to set up a meeting with the Indiana Department of Transportation, the town and himself to challenge a directive by INDOT to remove and replace a guard rail for a cost of $12,950 when INDOT previously approved just shortening it. INDOT also wants a curb height reduced which will provide a savings of $3,878.75.
If the challenge is unsuccessful, Jones requested permission to go head and approve the change order, so the project will not be delayed. The board approved the change order.
The council approved authorizing the final zoning and planning for the project for the final plat.
Discussion turned to the culvert on Long Drive. Jones and public works superintendent Jeremy Sponseller have asked Elkhart County to get involved since it has jurisdiction. The county invited the town to do what is necessary to fix the problem. Jones asked Cripe Excavating for a quote.
Town manager Henry DeJulia said he is working with NIPSCO to get gas and electric set up in the industrial park. Work is expected to start July 22.
During the parks department report town councilman Brian Woody asked how big the Rotary property at the Syracuse Park Foundation is that the town is considering buying. Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, said 6 1/2 acres with a pond. The property is located on Wildwood Drive, just east of Wawasee Heights.
Jonsson said the immediate plan would be to just mow the property which would take about 3 1/2 hours. The park board wants to leave the area as natural as possible and doesn’t want it developed. Programming for the area would include fishing, birding and tree identification.
In the public works report, the council approved a bid of $11,000 by Wawasee Tree Service.
Councilwoman Kathy Beer noted on the street paving plan Kern Road was on it and then removed. Sponseller explained the council sets the priority for paving.
Julie Kline, clerk-treasurer, noted Chris Cotton, the town’s insurance agent, is working with PHP, the town’s health insurance provider on renewal options. Due to the implementation of Obamacare, it will either be Dec. 1 or Jan. 1, 2014. She also reviewed the budget calendar for the 2014 budgets.
In public comments, Sharon Fowler asked what happens to the drugs dropped in the drug box by the police department. She was told they were destroyed. She asked about drug testing and were told all town employees are randomly drug tested.
Fowler asked about charging for permits, Bill Musser, council president, said discussions are still taking place on charging for permits.
She also asked what the Syracuse Municipal Building Corp. is., it is the organization that oversees the bond for the community center.
In old business, councilman Larry Siegel asked town attorney Vern Landis to review the contract with the fire territory. It was decided Musser will represent the council on the fire territory board the remainder of the year and then Beer will take over.