Syracuse Town Council kept things moving during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. Councilman Brian Woody was absent and it was the last meeting for Jeremy Sponseller, public works superintendent, as he leaves to further his education.
Dan Richard, Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission director, came before the board to provide a report and recommendation to rezone two lots from commercial to residential. The address is 605 N. Harrison, the site of an old church and church parsonage. Daniel Slone has purchased the property and plans to live in the parsonage. He also plans on selling the old church as a residence. The county planning commission unanimously recommended approving the change.
The council approved the zoning change as well.
Megan McClellan, executive director for Syracuse-Wawasee Trails, provided an update on the installation of sidewalk from Palm Drive to SR 13 along Harkless. Pulver Asphalt and Paving will be installing a cement sidewalk on the east side of the road as soon as weather permits. The committee is also working with Earth Source Inc. on a boardwalk trail from Harkless to SR 13 through the Conklin Bay Wetlands to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s property.
In the department reports, Henry DeJulia, town manager, reported work on the Front Street Bridge has already started. He is also working on getting tax abatement reports collected for the April council meeting.
Police Chief Tony Ciriello commended his officers and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department for their work on the recent double murder in town. He also thanked Sponseller for his service to the town.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported there will be several Easter egg hunts. From March 23-30 there will be a geocache hunt for 10 eggs. The middle school egg hunt will be after the middle school dance Friday, March 27. The hunt for younger children will be Saturday, March 28.
The council approved Paul Newcomer as a new member of the park board.
Sponseller provided a final update on the wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation. The cost will be about $2.3 million, approximately $90,000 under the approved amount. He told the council he would like the contractor to start ordering equipment.
Paul Stoetling, council president, asked what other issues need to be addressed. Sponseller said the telemetry system which tells staff there’s a problem, he would next address the building as it needs soffit, fascia and insulation. The roof also needs inspected. The HVAC needs to be overhauled and the grit removal equipment is still working, but it’s 25 years old and needs to be addressed.
Sponseller also received permission to purchase a new 1-ton pickup truck for the street department for $28,528.
The council also approved purchasing two trash cans for the uptown area.
The council also approved Julie Kline, clerk-treasurer, be allowed to spend $1,630 for the 2014 code book. She also reported the March water bills had to be estimated due to the snow. There were new chairs in the council chambers. And she reported she received a letter from London Witte which is working on the bonds for the wastewater treatment plant. The interest rate came in at 3.38 percent, well below the expected 4.75 percent.