Syracuse Town Council approved the 2015 budget on first reading during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. The estimated budget will be $3,498,227 with the estimated funds to be raised being $1,739,783. The budget is under maximum levy by $107,967.
Sharon Fowler asked why there was no building demonstration fund listed on the budget. By law the town is to have $10,000 set aside for building demonstration. Julie Kline, clerk-treasurer, explained $10,000 is set aside in the unsafe building fund. No funds have been added to the fund as no money has been spent from it.
Brett Konarski of Jones Petrie Rafinski, the town’s engineering firm, reported construction has been completed at the industrial/technology park. Close out papers are due to the Economic Development Administration, providing one of the grants for the project, by Oct. 17. Paperwork for Elkhart County must also be completed and Elkhart County requires a $1,000 payment. A request has been made to pay the fee through funds remaining from the economic development initiative grant.
There was some discussion as to how to handle the payment since the town typically requires an invoice and does not have one from Elkhart County on file. The council approved paying the fee through EDI if permitted.
The council also approved an appropriation of $15,000 from the cumulative capital improvement fund, also known as the cigarette tax fund, to the capital improvements fund.
The council also amended an ordinance regarding Oakwood Park. There will now be three stop signs in the park.
In department reports Henry DeJulia, town manager, stressed work has been completed at the industrial park. He met with Niblock and Polywood regarding a glitch due to stormwater. He requested the council approve Joe Leatherman as a representative to the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals and Ben Plikerd to the Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals. The council approved both men.
Capt. Cal Kline reviewed the police report with the council as Chief Tony Ciriello was on vacation.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported Harvest Fest will be held in Lakeside Park Saturday, Oct. 11. The event has outgrown the space in Crosson Mill Park. Work is underway to expand the fitness room at the community center. Work is expected to be completed by Oct. 1.
Plans are under discussion to convert the large infield into an ice rink this winter. Funds left from the park’s construction will be used to create the ice rink.
The park foundation board is in the process of completing negotiations for purchasing the rotary property.
Jeremy Sponseller, public works director, reported the schedule to bid out the treatment plant project has been pushed back to November due to a bid opening for a similar project in Ligonier Oct. 9. In the meantime contract documents will be finished and the project out to bid in October, bidding will close in November and the winning bid accepted at the November town council meeting. New equipment will then be ordered and should arrive in time to be installed in the spring.
Camera work and repairs in Oakwood Park went well. One whole section of sewer was replaced rather than repaired due to the number of problems it had. Sponseller asked to hire Construction Services which does water construction in the area. He explained it is the only local company specializing in this type of work. He would like the company to do repairs on a valve by the station one, on a line at Brooklyn and Main streets and on a broken hydrant on Lake and Harrison streets. Cost of all the repairs would be $19,377.69.
Work has been underway in an area across the street from the library. Problem trees have been removed, the guard rail will be replaced as will the plantings. The street lights will be moved and a bench may also be installed.
Kline reported the clerk’s office will be closed Oct. 9 for a district meeting with Department of Local Government Finance and the State Board of Accounts.