Syracuse Town Council is looking for payment — or at least some communication — from the Turkey Creek Regional Sewer District.
Several town officials at the Tuesday, Jan. 17, council meeting expressed frustration and bewilderment concerning the sewer district’s recent performance under the current 40-year intermunicipal agreement between the entities.
Under the agreement, signed Dec. 29, 1987, the town of Syracuse is providing wastewater treatment services to several hundred units in the sewer district.
In return, TCRSD pays a set rate for the gallonage and shares expenses for operation and maintenance of the processing facilities.
Those expenses spiked significantly last January when the town rehabilitated the aging facilities to accommodate increased demands to the system.
TCRSD paid the enhanced amount most of the year, according to Town Manager Henry DeJulia, but remitted only 50 percent of the bill the last two months of 2016.
“They haven’t given us any explanation,” said Rob Merchant, public works director. “We had a meeting set up with the (sewer district) board, but their attorney canceled it and we haven’t heard from them since.”
“They started doing this without any notice to the town of Syracuse,” wrote DeJulia in his report to the council.
In 2015, “the district was informed of the repairs in many ways at many different times,” remarked a perplexed Larry Siegel, council member.
No formal action was taken on the matter, but the council and town officials vowed to continue working toward an amicable solution.
In other business:
Police Chief Jim Layne submitted his 2016 report, noting the department responded to 5,587 calls for service and made 215 arrests. Full-time personnel underwent 510 hours of training and reserves worked 665.75 hours and took 76.5 hours of training.
Layne announced the department is taking applications until the end of February for volunteer reserve officers.
Applications can be picked up at the Syracuse Police Department office, 310 N. Huntington St., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“If they can’t make it during those hours,” said Layne, “they can call ahead and we will leave the application with the duty officer after hours.”
For more information, call (574) 457-5333.
Chad Jonsson, superintendent of the town’s parks and recreation department, submitted a 2016 tree summary detailing plantings, tree remediation and expenses.
According to the report, the department planted 21 trees, pruned another 40 and removed 25 trees. Expenses in 2016 for plantings, forestry management, tree and stump removal and tree maintenance totaled $30,253.79.
The board unanimously approved a $10,500 allocation to the Turkey Creek Fire Department to purchase three IV pump units for the department’s ambulances.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott requested replacement of at least one of the two downtown fire hydrants removed by the State of Indiana during recent renovations along SR 13. Merchant said he will look into the matter.
The meeting ended on a high note. One Syracuse resident, who asked her name be withheld, lauded the council for keeping the town’s Christmas lights up.
“Other cities don’t do it as long,” she said, “and I know it costs a little extra, but they are beautiful and they do lift your spirits.”
The council will next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Syracuse Town Hall.