Syracuse Town Council approved its 2015 budget at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening. The total budget is for $3,375,727. Home rule funds, those that are not taxable are $122,500 and the tax levy for the town is $1,739,783.
The council also approved the 2015 salary ordinance.
Brett Konarski of Jones, Petrie Rafinski reported construction is complete at the industrial park and paperwork has been filed with the Economic Development Administration, administering a grant for the project, and Elkhart County, since the property is across county lines.
In the department reports, Henry DeJulia, town manager, requested the council accept the industrial park now that the work has been completed. The council did so. Councilman Bill Musser asked about the plans for distributing the brochure for the park. DeJulia said he plans to send brochures to targeted businesses, the business incubator at the University of Notre Dame and commercial realtors.
NIPSCO completed installing a new pipe on the north side of Brooklyn Street. Paving work was also completed in Oakwood Park.
Police Chief Tony Ciriello reported several security measures in town hall have been installed. He spent $11,570 of $15,000 allocated to him from the cigarette tax fund. He requested spending the remaining $3,000 on body cameras for his officers.
Ciriello showed the council one such camera, explaining the department is trying them. “It works fantastic,” he said. Film from the cams have been submitted as evidence for cases to the prosecutors office. The $3,000 will allow Ciriello to purchase an additional seven cameras, but he needs 10 to cover the reserve officers as well.
After discussion, with Councilman Larry Siegel saying, “I’m just trying to figure out how to get them 10, that’s fantastic.” Ciriello said he could purchase the remaining cameras out of the 2015 equipment budget. Council approved the purchase.
Chad Jonsson, parks superintendent, reported the Harvest Fest was held Oct. 11 at Lakeside Park and was successful. Construction in the expanded fitness room is complete and a few more pieces of equipment are on the way. The haunted house is under construction in Crosson Mill Park and will be open 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
In the public works report, Jeremy Sponseller, public works director, encouraged members of the council to see the improvements in Oakwood Park. Bids on the wastewater treatment plant will be opened Nov. 12.
Council approved spending $2,900 on a set of winter tracks for the skid loader. The tracks will be purchased at Monteith Tire in Syracuse.
The Wawasee Trail Project has approached the street department about partnering on installing sidewalk from SR 13 along Harkless Drive to Palm Drive. The town will provide $25,000 while the trail committee will raise the remaining amount through grants. After discussion the proposal was approved.
Estimates on the costs for the wastewater treatment plant project are due this week.
Julie Kline, clerk-treasurer, reported the clerk’s office will be closed Nov. 12 for an annual training meeting.
Megan McCellan, executive director of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee, introduced herself and thanked the council for the pedestrian bridge on Harkless Drive.
Melanie Shorthill of Indiana Telephone Network came before the council asking to make a 30 minute presentation on what they have to offer. Kline told her a commitment has been already made to another company.
Tammy Cotton, executive director of the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, made the council aware of several upcoming events.
Musser reported an open house for newly renovated fire station one will be noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.
Council President Brian Woody reported he has been working with a company in South Bend regarding establishing a quiet zone through town with the railroad. He requested the town make a commitment so the company could begin a study into the matter. After debate and questions, the council approved committing to wanting a quiet zone, but not spending money on it.