SYRACUSE – Syracuse Town Council finished out the year by swearing in a new council member and a new clerk treasurer, while two current council members took the oath of office and will start a new term in January.
Tom Hoover was sworn in as a new council member. He will be replacing Kathy Beer who finished her term. Council members Brian Woody and Bill Musser will start new terms in 2016. Paula Kehr Wicker was sworn in as the new clerk treasurer. Julie Kline is retiring at the end of the year.
Kline was presented with an engraved glass vase. Council president Paul Stoelting thanked Kline for her years of service. “We’ll have a hard time replacing Julie,” he said. “I’ll certainly miss her.” “It’s been a pleasure working with you. I’m not leaving town, so if you have questions, just call,” Kline said.
The council also approved a request from Vincent Beasley to rezone 207 W. Main St. from residential to commercial. Also approved was a transfer order for the police department, which requested to transfer $10,000 from gas and oil to new equipment. A transfer order was approved for the park department which requested transferring $5,000 from lifeguards to new equipment.
The council approved a resolution allowing the clerk treasurer to make transfers in order to balance the books. A resolution annexing the technology park into the town of Syracuse was also approved.
In department reports Town Manager Henry DeJulia requested permission to spend $20,000 for a public relations firm. The council approved the request. DeJulia reported he is still working on decorative lights for SR 13, the street department is done with leaf pickup for the season and the work on the lift station in Oakwood Park.
Police Chief Jim Layne reported the department has been working on local ordinance enforcement. The council approved the police department replacing a squad car. The new car will be purchased at Sorg Dodge in Goshen and should be delivered by the end of February.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported there were 550 breakfasts served at Breakfast with Santa and 135 letters to Santa dropped off. The park department is now showing free family-friendly movies once a month. “Elf” was shown for December and had about 40 people in attendance. The snowmobile races have been pushed back to Feb. 13 due to the warm fall.
In the clerk treasurer’s report, Kline pointed out she provided paperwork for the council regarding the 2016 budget being accepted by the Department of Local Government Finance. Kehr Wicker requested permission to purchase two computers for $2,200. The request was approved.
In public comments, Jessica Griffith requested a street light be placed in her cul de sac in Wawasee Heights. She explained children in the area are waiting for the bus in the dark. The council instructed DeJulia to look into it.
Sharon Fowler asked when the sewer rate increased. Councilman Brian Woody explained last year was the first time the sewer rate had been increased since 1992 and the wastewater treatment plant is 25 years old and literally breaking down.
The council approved appointments as presented for town attorney, park board, Syracuse Redevelopment Commission and tree board. Stoelting made an executive appointment naming Larry Martindale to the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals. The only appointment not approved by the council was Steve Snyder to the fire territory board.