Syracuse Town Council Tuesday evening, Sept. 20, unanimously passed an ordinance to refinance the town’s $4 million 2004 waterworks bond.
Refinancing and marketing the bond to local banks by Paula Kehr-Wicker, Syracuse clerk-treasurer, will reduce interest payments and eliminate plan agent fees, saving the town up to $100,000, according to London Witte Group LLC, the town’s financial advisor.
The council granted several requests for funds by Town Manager Henry DeJulia:
• $62,000 for sidewalk remediation to be completed by Nov. 4.
• $21,690 for 10 decorative lights for Dolan and Pearl streets to be delivered within six weeks. The town will install the lights.
• $6,630 for two radar signs displaying a passing vehicle’s speed. The signs will be posted on poles and will be moved at the town’s discretion “as we see issues arising,” said DeJulia.
The council also approved Turkey Creek Fire Chief Mickey Scott’s request for $39,000 to replace the department’s 2004 Chevrolet Suburban, which is “used for fire and EMS runs, towing the rescue boat and Save a Life trailer, going to class and day-to-day business.”
The current vehicle has 116,500 miles “with issues,” said Scott, who recounted a recent incident where “the brake line went out due to the age of the vehicle” while he was driving in the city.
The Suburban, which replaced the department’s 1999 Jeep 12 years ago, has a trade-in value of $3,000.
Scott also reported:
• The department collected nonperishable items for food banks and pantries. “We had good community response,” he said.
• The 2016 MDA Boot Drive collected $2,175.10.
• Department personnel taught a public CPR class and the town’s public works department requested a class for town employees. “We’re setting that up now,” said Scott.
• The department’s new ambulance arrived Sept. 2. Dekalb County purchased the old ambulance for $4,500, well above the vehicle’s $3,000 trade-in value.
Syracuse Police Chief Jim Layne reported he is updating the department’s standard operating procedures. The “130 to 150” procedures contain “multiple points,” he said.
The revisions will “help toward liability,” said Layne, and will provide “one set standard for every officer in the department.”
The procedures will adhere to state law and federal court rulings with allowed variances to accommodate the department’s unique needs.
Town attorney Vern Landis suggested Layne submit the procedures to the council as they are written rather than after they are all completed.
Layne also presented the August 2016 monthly report. During the month, the department responded to 451 calls for service, filled out 11 accident reports, made eight criminal arrests, issued 36 traffic tickets and warnings and logged 8,804 miles in department vehicles.
Public Works Superintendent Rob Merchant requested $4,480 to pay for additional materials for several alleys and one intersection paved this spring. “We have some low areas requiring extra material,” he said.
Merchant also reported the recently installed water treatment equipment, though functioning properly, is inadequate to handle the town’s needs.
He said the engineers recommended a system with inadequate capacity because “their averages were off and a lot of assumptions were made based on national averages” which do not apply locally.
“So the equipment was destined to fail,” said Merchant.
The council approved $6,500 to undertake a professional review of the system and develop a model for modifications.
The council will next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Syracuse Town Hall.