SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Town Council got a preliminary look at the 2018 budget for town departments, during its monthly meeting Tuesday night, July 18. The estimated budget is $35,323 under maximum levy.
Proposed department budgets are: Town Manager, $205,620, a decrease of $11.888; Clerk-Treasurer, $651,140, an increase of $18,632; Police, $1,113,050, an increase of $41,950; MVH-Street, $978,419, a decrease of $36,537; and Park, $507,419, an increase of $86,212. The total budget for town departments is $2,477,229.
The total budget when cumulative budgets, rainy day fund, Tax Increment Finance districts and riverboat revenue are added to the department budgets is $3,572,925. The taxable budget amount for 2018 is $2,045,822.72.
Henry DeJulia noted his budget is 5.4 percent lower than last year’s budget. He explained to the council he added money to cumulative funds and TIF revenue so he could access money quickly for projects if necessary.
Clerk-treasurer Paula Kehr-Wicker explained she increased her budget to fund a part-time employee or summer intern. The long distance contract for the clerk’s office ends this year and Kehr-Wicker is looking to update the phone system. The heating and air conditioning contract is also expiring this year.
Police Chief Jim Layne noted his budget is up 3.19 percent over last year’s due to insurance and wages. Auto insurance for the department has gone up quite a bit. Additional money was added to the department’s equipment repair line, training and range as expenses have gone up for all three.
Robin Merchant, public works superintendent, reported his budget was 2.9 percent lower than last year. He asked for increases on just four operations issues, such as insurance, as well as an increase in the paving and signs budget.
Park Superintendent Chad Jonsson, noted he added funds to the miscellaneous supplies line as well as insurance. He also added funds to the contract mowing line item. The park department would like to add the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex to the fertilizing schedule. An additional $80,000 was added to the budget to cover the rehabilitation or rebuilding of the rest rooms at the top of the hill in Lakeside Park. The park board is discussing tearing down the old building and building a new one near the pavilion. The hope is to have the new building complete by Memorial Day, 2018
The town council also reviewed and approved the Turkey Creek Fire Territory budget. The total operating budget for the fire department is $1,695,854. The council voted four for approving the budget and one abstaining.
In department reports, DeJulia told the council annexation of the technology park is expected to be complete July 28. A meeting has been scheduled with the Turkey Creek Sewer District regarding rates. The town video is also close to completion.
Layne reported reserve officers are almost done with their training.
Jonsson reported the third annual mud run was a success and it will be continued to be built on. The Tour des Lakes had a record turnout. The park board is also working with SiteScapes on doing a project update to the master plan. This will give projects priority and a time line for completion. The Kiwanis Triathlon is Aug. 12.