SYRACUSE — Syracuse Town Manager Henry DeJulia was on vacation, but a letter he wrote to the Syracuse Town Council announcing his retirement was read during the council’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 20. DeJulia has been town manager for 12 years. The council accepted DeJulia’s retirement letter.
Town Council President Bill Musser said it is hoped DeJulia’s successor will be named in the next month or two.
In his letter to the council DeJulia wrote, “it is my honor to pass on the dedication to the mission to the next generation of leaders.
“I leave Syracuse thankful. Being a member of the administration has allowed me to provide for my family. I thank the town of Syracuse for providing so graciously. Now it is time for me to provide in other ways. As Syracuse moves forward I move forward as well, toward a continued commitment to my family.
“It is with great honor that I retire as Syracuse town manager. Thank you for your support of this decision, for your vision of the town of Syracuse and for your friendship over the past 12 years.”
The council also approved reducing an existing appropriation of $127,718.84 for the local road and bridge matching grant fund. The council also approved transferring $42,73.06 from the local road and bridge matching grant fund back to the rainy day fund.
The council also approved the water and wastewater budgets. Robin Merchant, public works superintendent, noted there was a 5 percent increase for wastewater and an 11 percent increase for water. The proposed wastewater budget was $937,200 while the proposed water budget was $798,150. Both budgets are paid through customer rates.
Merchant explained part of the increase was due to work that still needs to be done at the plant that was not part of the original project. It was noted savings on electricity are being spent on other things at the plant.
Merchant reported the town did not receive a Crossroads Community Grant this year, but can resubmit in January.
Police Chief Jim Layne reported the squad car damaged in a recent pursuit is in the shop being repaired. He also requested the council approve an interlocal agreement with Kosciusko County for $5,000 for electronics. The council approved renewing the agreement.
The police department is still going through an ADA audit. Layne told the council he has asked for an extension because some of the information requested he isn’t familiar with such as the grade of ADA compliant sidewalks. This audit is required in order for the town to qualify for federal highway grants.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported the Haunted Thrill at Crosson Mill, Lakeland Youth Center’s annual fall carnival and Holiday Magic all had good turnouts. The next event for the parks is Breakfast with Santa, set for 8 to 11 a.m. Dec. 1. Breakfast is free for children and $3 for adults at the Syracuse Community Center.
The parks are also undergoing winterizing. Lakeside Park still has running water as the new restrooms are heated.
Paula Kehr-Wicker, clerk-treasurer, requested approval to changes to the employee handbook regarding uniforms for town employees.