SYRACUSE — Syracuse Town Council approved an amendment regarding the lawsuit it filed against the Turkey Creek Sewer District during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Feb. 19. Town attorney Vern Landis told the council the amendment meets the criteria for a settlement.
Mike Noe, town manager, explained the sewer district will pay the town $140,000 along with fees for January and February. The sewer district plans to disconnect from Syracuse’s wastewater system by June 2019 and is in the process of building its own plant.
The main issue is back flow at two lift stations, located on Medusa Street and near Miller’s Merry Manor, when the sewer district sends too much to the town’s wastewater plant. Residents on Medusa Street have had sewage back flow into their homes when the sewer district sends too much through.
According to Noe, the sewer district would not assist homeowners who suffered damage from the back flows. Several homeowners filed claims against the town’s insurance company to help with the repairs. Because of this issue, part of the agreement reads, “as of (when signed) if any more back flows occur, Turkey Creek Sewer District will help pay (for repairs.)” To ensure that doesn’t happen, the sewer district has agreed to reduce its flow rate by 60 percent to the Syracuse Waste Water Plant, and is going to install an additional 65 collection dishes. Currently the sewer district has 14 collection dishes as part of its system..
Should a home be damaged by a back flow from this point on, the sewer district will pay the actual cost of the damage or pay $5,000 whichever is less.
Noe explained the Turkey Creek Sewer District can remain on the town’s system until Dec. 31, 2020, if necessary. However, the current rate of $2.76 per 1,000 gallons will go up to $3.50 per 1,000 gallons after Jan. 1, 2020. The sewer district is limited to sending 88,000 gallons to the town’s wastewater treatment plant. It will also pay a surcharge for anything exceeding 88,000 gallons.
The town approved an amendment to the salary and compensation ordinance. Noe explained the adjustment is for Don Robinson, foreman at the water department. Robinson is now signing documents regarding the water department to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Noe said he is working toward his water license. He has a license for wastewater. Others in the public utility department are also seeking certifications as well.
In his monthly report, Noe asked for $7,000 for an engineering study regarding annexing North and South Kitson streets. Residents have approached the town seeking annexation. The study will evaluate whether water pipes and wastewater pipes are up to the town’s standards. Noe said he believes wastewater will be OK while water pipes will need to be upgraded.
The council approved spending the money on a study, however, councilmen Bill Musser and Paul Stoelting both said they would like to see what the return on the town’s investment would be. Noe and Henry DeJulia, former town manager, both said the study would help answer those questions.