SYRACUSE — Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported the fire fighters completed over 400 hours of training, the new tanker was ordered, during the Syracuse Town Council’s monthly meeting Tuesday, July 18. The pork chop, chicken barbecue went well. The town received an Insurance Service Office rating of a 4 and the township a 4Y. Scott explained a 4 is for buildings within 1,000 feet of a hydrant and a 4Y is for buildings not within 1,000 feet of a hydrant.
Robin Merchant, public works superintendent, introduced Jim Hardy of Commonwealth Engineering. Merchant asked the council to accept a proposal Commonwealth submitted to represent the town on the needed aeration equipment including permitting from the state. Merchant reminded the council the Indiana Department of Environmental Management did not approve the original plan for the aeration equipment or request to see drawings.
Originally the plan did not require a permit because the actual aeration process was not going to change. However, changing some of the equipment changed the process making a permit necessary.
Hardy explained whoever wins the contract to do the work will be required to have a structural engineer certify the wall design. Commonwealth’s proposal was $10,000 less than anticipated. The council approved hiring Commonwealth with work on the project to begin in early 2018.
In discussion from the floor Syracuse resident Sharon Fowler raised several complaints starting with someone from outside of town illegally dumping. She stated she believed someone else should be in charge of housing issues pointing out there were no building citations listed in the police chief’s report. There were no building citations listed in the building inspectors report as well.
She complained her neighbor had been charged for a ordinance violation by the police. The police then did nothing regarding an all day drinking party held at another neighbor’s house. She was also upset nothing was done to prevent the house across the street from her, allegedly with black mold inside, was sold.
She complained addresses of sex offenders or known drug houses are not located by being publicized. Council members asked if she called and reported any of these issues to the police. Fowler’s response was “I don’t think I should have to report it, because nothing is being done.”
She claimed there should be an additional $10,000 in the emergency building fund. Both Clerk-Treasurer Paula Kehr-Wicker and Councilman Larry Siegel pointed out the town passed its audits with the state board of accounts.
Fowler continued to make vague accusations until Council president Tom Hoover hit the gavel and told Fowler her time was up. She preceded to storm out of the meeting. Concerned by her behavior, Police Chief Jim Layne left the meeting a minute or two later to check on her.
Later, Kehr-Wicker explained Fowler’s neighbors, who are tenants, were not charged with the ordinance violation, the bill was sent to the landlord.
Layne said the all day party was on private property. Layne also noted the house across from Fowlers has been sold and the previous owners left items behind. As the new owners work on the property, they are hauling things out in accordance with the ordinance.
As for publicizing sex offenders residence or known drug houses, Layne noted there is a national sex offender registry that lists information, as for the known drug houses, it was illegal to publish an address unless an arrest took place.