The only major piece of business for the Syracuse Town Council came during public discussion on non-agenda items during the council’s monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Syracuse resident Sharon Fowler complained about receiving a letter from the town regarding a tree on her property causing a problem between her and her neighbor. The tree straddles the property line.
Fowler complained the town’s tree ordinance addresses trees causing a hazard for alleyways and streets, but not on an individual’s property. She also stated she tried to have the tree removed three years ago and the tree board stopped her.
She had the building inspector review the situation and quotes on removal range from $3,500 to $6,000. She told the council she believes the town should pay for removing her tree.
Council members turned to Town Manager Henry DeJulia who said there is an emergency housing fund that could be used. Council members advised Fowler to speak to DeJulia.
DeJulia explained the tree ordinance allows inspectors access to private property to assess a problem. Public Works Superintendent Jeremy Sponseller, who also sits on the tree board, explained the tree board did not stop Fowler from removing her tree. Rather the board considered the matter a civil one between her and her neighbor since the tree straddles the property line. The tree board further determined since the tree is not in a public area, the board wouldn’t pay for its removal.
In department reports DeJulia reported lighting on the signs at the technology park have been fixed. Kosciusko Leadership Academy met at the community center.
The Front Street Bridge project is set to start in March and it is hoped the work will be completed by Memorial Day.
Regulatory signs have been installed in Oakwood Park. DeJulia also told the council Police Chief Tony Ciriello received the Sagamore of the Wabash award and the town received the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce 2014 Beautification Award.
Ciriello reported he has added a new line on his police department report to the council which highlights the number of warrants the department has filed. The department is in the process of establishing guidelines to offer a public safe zone at the department for those purchasing items on line. Both parties can come to the department to conduct their transaction safely.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported the indoor yard sale will be March 7 and all the booths have been reserved. Easter egg hunts will be March 27 and 28. Middle schoolers will have their flashlight hunt after their dance March 27, while younger kids will have theirs March 28.
Winterfest was Jan. 30-31. The soup supper had the largest crowd ever and the activities offered Saturday were well attended.
In the public works report the council approved a bid for $8,925 from DH Tree and Stump for tree removal. Tree work has to be completed by May 1.
Public works personnel have met with the contractor to review their bid. The contractor needs to review its numbers to make sure they are correct before looking for places to cut.
Julie Kline, clerk treasurer, reported most residents will receive estimated water bills. Only 300 residents have the radio read meters and will receive bills for actual use. Sponseller told the council the remaining 1,100 meters will be switched to radio read meters yet this year.