SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Town Council approved a settlement agreement regarding a lawsuit against Inframark LLC related to the construction project at the town’s wastewater treatment plant during its meeting Tuesday night, June 18.
Inframark will pay the town $75,000. Once payment is received both parties will execute a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. Mike Noe, town manager, told the town council the lawsuit against Triad Associates Inc. is still pending and should be resolved later this month.
The council also approved several ordinances and resolutions so a public employees retirement fund could be offered to Syracuse Police Officers. The council approved abolishing the town marshal position and creating a Syracuse Board of Metropolitan Police Commissioners, appointing members to the board of commissioners, establishing a PERF 1977 pension fund and a board of trustees for managing the fund. The council also elected to join the 1977 fund.
Members of the police board of commissioners will be Noe and Councilman Larry Martindale and Tom Hoover. The board should meet a minimum of 4 times a year and will make recommendations to the council regarding hiring officers.
The trustee board will manage the police department’s PERF 1977 fund. Serving as trustees will be Police Chief Jim Layne, Clerk-Treasurer Paula Kehr-Wicker and Noe. The fund will go into effect on July 1.
Jeremy Harding from Commonwealth Engineering, recommended a task order for $20,000 regarding painting the interior of the north water tower. Commonwealth will establish bid specifications and take bids for the work to present to the town. The council approved the expense with Councilman Bill Musser abstaining.
Harding also recommended the town enter into an on-call service with Commonwealth for $20,000. This will allow Noe to proceed with small projects that need engineering services without having to bring it before council. The contract would remain in effect until the $20,000 is spent and then it could be renewed.
The council approved putting stop signs at the intersection of Wildwood and Thwaits, to slow traffic down around the new park, and Technology Way and Innovation Boulevard in the technology park, which Layne said there is currently no way to regulate traffic.
In department reports, the council approved hiring Schrock Construction for $5,255 to tuck point the brick work on town hall as well as other work on the building.
In the wastewater report, Kossing is installing a gate which should be in place later this week. At that point, the performance guarantee will start. Noe also introduced Aaron Dixon, the new waste water foreman. Dixon just passed his class 3 waste water certification.
The council approved purchasing a mini hoe for $47,562 which will be used when digging to install meter boxes and dig ditches in small spaces.
Layne reported Officer Baumbaugh is leaving for the Indiana State Police. Applications for a new officer will be taken through July 5. Because PERF will be in place, applicants must be between the ages of 21 -36 unless coming from a PERF 1977 department.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported about 220 runners have pre-registered for the Mudtastic at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation this Saturday, June 22. There will be a number of events in the parks for the July 4 holiday and the Tour Des Lakes will be held July 20.
Work continues on Laudeman Park. After some discussion where some different ideas were proposed, the park board is revisiting plans for the park.
The park board meeting is moving from Monday, July 8, to Wednesday, July 10.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported there were 123 responses in May and 530 responses since the start of the year. The building improvement project is complete. An open house will be planned for Station II as soon as the baby box is installed.
The council approved a bid for a new firetruck for $579,078. The truck will be delivered within 12-14 months since it has to be custom built.
The fire department’s pork chop and chicken barbecue will be held July 6. The CPR class in May was rescheduled for 4 p.m. July 31. Scott told the council the department will be offering a CPR class in months that have a fifth Wednesday. Budgets are being worked on for the July 15 Fire Territory Board meeting.
Chris Bornman, White Oaks Construction, Cromwell, came before the board seeking approval for an easement to repair the store at 700 N. Huntington that caught fire in March. The council gave its approval.
Tim Yeager requested a correction in last month’s minutes regarding his statements regarding parking in Syracuse.
Dave Johnston of the Water Control Device Committee asked for an update on a survey of Crosson Mill Park that is needed to proceed with repairs to the flood control device in the park. Noe said a survey has been ordered, but he is currently waiting on a quote. He is using someone who has done work in town before.
Johnston questioned if all the surveyors in the area were busy because the committee can’t move forward with permits until the survey is complete.
“I’m under the understanding that we (the council) are taking care of it (the survey),” said Musser. “It has been a month and there’s some more to discuss that needs to be discussed in an executive session.” Johnston asked for clarification. Musser said he had questions as what would be used as boundaries for the survey.
Johnston said, “It seems to me that since you don’t have ownership of the flood control device and land surrounding it, that you don’t care about fixing it.”
Councilman Larry Siegel stated that was absolutely not true. Stating the council has done more regarding the flood control device, he said, “We feel the urgency, there are processes that we have to go through.”
Siegel and Johnston began to talk over one another before Martindale put a stop to it. Siegel suggested to Johnston several times the committee could claim ownership on the permit paperwork and apply for permits without the survey.