SYRACUSE — Syracuse Town Council swept through a full agenda at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Dec. 18. This meeting also served as the council’s last meeting of the year.
Last month, Town Manager Henry DeJulia announced he was retiring at the end of the year. The council announced Mike Noe will serve as the new town manager and public works superintendent. DeJulia has agreed to stay on in an advisory position through the first quarter of 2019. The council approved contracts for Noe’s to be town manager and DeJulia to be an advisor.
“I want to thank everyone. It’s been an enjoyable 12 years,” DeJulia said.
Council president Bill Musser said the town had candidates from Delaware to Wyoming apply for the position. Noe is from Ligonier and has worked for North Webster for seven years. He said he wants to maintain what Syracuse has been doing, calling the community progressive.
A retirement party for DeJulia will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Syracuse Town Hall.
Lily Lawrence, a fifth-grader at Syracuse Elementary School, made a special presentation to school crossing guards Edward Batesla and Deb Vander Reyden. Lawrence, who does not walk to school, noticed the school crossing guards are out in all types of weather keeping fellow students safe and wanted to recognize them in some way. She had plaques of appreciation made and presented them at the council meeting. The plaques featured a special poem about school crossing guards.
The council approved the 2019 salary and compensation ordinance for town employees and a resolution authorizing Paula Kehr-Wicker to make transfers to close out the 2018 budget.
DeJulia reported the town is still working to resolve issues with the Turkey Creek Sewer District. He also noted several houses have been rehabilitated and thanked the code enforcement officer for his efforts.
The council approved appointments to the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals, Kosciusko County BZA, Syracuse Tree Board, Syracuse Redevelopment Commission, Turkey Creek Fire Territory Board, town attorney and park board.
DeJulia also mentioned Kosciusko County received state funding for an overpass at CR 1300N in Milford over the railroad tracks. DeJulia said the new overpass may open up opportunities for development.
Police Chief Jim Layne asked to purchase a used car to use for reserve officers. After discussion, the council approved Layne purchasing a new car on a lease purchase agreement. Layne is still working on the Americans for Disabilities Act audit for the state.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported park activities tend to be slow in December and January. The Kiwanis did serve 420 breakfasts at Breakfast With Santa. Planning for next year is underway.
Robin Merchant, public works superintendent, did not attend the meeting, but sent a written report asking residents to stop flushing baby wipes and rags in the toilet. The materials block sewer lines and cause damage to the lift stations. He noted the town has spent thousands of dollars dealing with the issue.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported a paramedic has recently passed his certification.
In new business Councilmen Larry Siegel and Paul Stoelting were sworn in by town attorney Vern Landis.
In discussion from the floor Ron Baumgartner, publisher of The Papers and chair of the Milford High School Alumni Association, requested Musser be the master of ceremonies at the alumni banquet planned for June 8.