SYRACUSE — Syracuse Town Council approved the 2019 budget of $4,069,580 during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 16.
Also approved were appropriations of $2,000 from the general police fund for confidential funds and $107,000 from local road and street for engineering purposes.
The council also approved transferring $40,219.16 from the local road and bridge matching grant fund to the motor vehicle highway fund and $87,500 from local road and bridge matching grant fund to the local road and street fund.
In department reports, Henry DeJulia, town manager, requested approval to pay KoKosing for the work it did on the wastewater treatment plant. The council approved paying $60,997.50 and also signed the substantial completion paperwork.
DeJulia reported there have been several meetings regarding how to pay for repairs to the flood control device in Crosson Mill Park.
Another Crossroads Community Grant application has been completed and submitted. The town should know in early November if it has won a grant.
Railroad crossings in town are closed and under construction. DeJulia said the work was supposed to take approximately seven days, but is already behind schedule.
Police Chief Jim Layne suggested rerouting truck traffic to Railroad Avenue where it is less congested rather than having semis attempting to turn on Main Street. Layne told the council he’s received a number of calls from concerned business owners and residents about the truck traffic. There is also concern about the bridge on Main Street which is limited to 6,000 pounds.
The council advised Layne to do some investigating into the matter and come back to the council with suggestions.
Trick or treat hours will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The police department is going through a mandated audit regarding ADA compliance. This is something municipalities must go through every three years.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported the Fall Festival at Lakeside Park last weekend was a success despite the cold weather. The indoor garage sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. The Haunted Thrill in Crosson Mill will be operating Oct. 26-27. Lakeland Youth Center will also have its annual Halloween Carnival Oct. 27. The official lighting of the town’s Christmas tree will be Nov. 17.
There is a new LED light in front of the Syracuse Community Center thanks to a $30,000 donation.
Robin Merchant, public works superintendent, requested approval to replace a small dump truck that has been in service 25 years. The new 2018 truck from Byers Chevrolet is $45,345 and comes with a snowplow. The council approved the purchase with delivery to take place within 45 days.
All street lights have been switched to LED and the town will receive a refund from NIPSCO for approximately $4,000.
Merchant reported there was a chemical spill, possibly diesel fuel from the parking lot at Jasper Plastics into Turkey Creek. After numerous calls, the Turkey Creek Fire Department responded and put booms out to collect the fuel. A representative of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management came into town Monday to check on the situation.
The wastewater treatment plant is working well with technicians doing some fine tuning.
Paula Kehr-Wicker, clerk-treasurer, reported the town’s health insurance will be going up 8.5 percent when the town budgeted for an increase of 15 percent. The council also approved purchasing a new generator for town hall at a cost of $12,391.
In old business Council President Bill Musser reported the Goodwill box at Family Dollar once again had plenty of trash around it and piled on top of it. Goodwill will work to address the situation.