Town Council Wraps Up 2013 Business

Syracuse Town Council tied up loose ends before the new year started during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

The board approved the retainage release for Cripe Excavating for work it had done at the new industrial park as well as a tax abatement request from Polywood and PW Reality LLC. Polywood is expanding and plans to bring in 52 new employees during the next couple of years.

Brett Konarski of Jones Petrie Rafiniski, the town’s engineering firm, reported additional striping needs to be done in the industrial park and on the passing blisters. Cripe Excavating did offer a bid package for the work, but Jones Petrie Rafiniski recommended seeking outside bids, since a lower quote on the work is possible.

The council approved seeking other bids. Councilman Larry Siegel asked if the roads in the industrial park are in Elkhart County’s jurisdiction. Konaski said no, Elkhart County does not accept new roadways from November through April.

In public comments from the floor, the council heard from Jonathan Mishler, a resident of Wawasee Heights. Several members of the subdivision came before the council asking for help in repairing the entrance signs to the neighborhood, since the signs are on town property. Mishler had quotes for masonry and electrical work.

Council members explained while the signs are in the public right of way, the town is not responsible for maintaining the signs. The developer installed the signs.

It was recommended the neighbors form a neighborhood association to address the matter. The repair work will cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Town manager Henry DeJulia suggested changing the ordinance for the rehabilitation program which is mainly for business facades and offering the neighborhood a low interest loan. Vern Landis, town attorney, said he would have to research that, but advised against it.

In department reports, DeJulia asked for approval of the 2013-05 Economic Development Income Tax Resolution. This is a plan describing how EDIT funds will be spent.

DeJulia reported he is still working on signs for the industrial park and the Harkless pedestrian bridge will not be completed until next spring.

Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello requested permission to purchase a golf cart for the police department to use during community events. He found one for sale in town for $4,000. The council approved the purchase.

He also commended Jeremy Sponseller, public works superintendent, and the street department for their work last weekend during the storm.

(For a more in-depth account of the meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.)

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