SYRACUSE — Paul Stoelting will serve as president of the Syracuse Town Council for 2020. The Mail-Journal caught up with Stoelting during this busy time of the year to ask him about the council’s accomplishments during 2019 and what challenges face the council in 2020.
Stoelting has served on the Syracuse Town Council for more than 20 years. He noted the town has around a $3 million annual budget, much of which addresses the repair and replacement of infrastructure, including sewer and water lines, streets and sidewalks and tree removal and planting.
In an email to The Mail-Journal, Stoelting said, “2019 brought to the town of Syracuse Mike Noe as new town manager. Noe, who comes from North Webster, had done an excellent job replacing our former town manager Henry DeJulia. Noe also serves as utility director; he replaced Severn Trent and has saved the town thousands of dollars.
“With this significant savings the town was able to provide a sate retirement (public employee retirement fund) to the town’s employees. The town council felt this excellent benefit would not only assist the employees, but provide incentive for loyalty to and longevity with the town.
“The town also entered into a productive negotiations with the Syracuse Lake and Lake Wawasee residents to come up with a repair solution to the Turkey Creek Dam (water control structure) regulating the level of the lakes just southwest of the town hall. The town will share the significant cost of repairing the structure with other government and citizen groups in order to transfer ownership to a conservancy district in 2020. The concerns about our many, natural resources and the cost to maintain the dam in the future appear to be resolved.
“We also settled some legal disputes resulting from the engineering and building of our relatively new sewage treatment plant. After many hours of lawsuit filing, negotiations and mediation, the town and the other parties were able to settle their differences through a monetary agreement.
“Job creation continued to be a number one priority for the town, the town council and Syracuse Redevelopment Commission have explored and worked with potential employers interested in relocating to the Syracuse Business and Technology Park, which we successfully annexed a year or so ago. We also have worked with a large, local business in an effort to accommodate its much needed expansion.
“I see 2020 as a continuation of our employment priority. A very large employer in the town has expressed interest in expanding and we have numerous challenges with other government agencies to try to provide land and incentives to keep the business in the Syracuse community. Besides working on such incentives, the town will have to compete with a southern state location to keep the expansion in our town.
“As we try to expand the employment market, we should also work on a child care issue presented earlier this year to the town council. If we are to keep people in and attract new workers to the area, we will need to be able to provide reasonable day care options to the many young and educated workers.”
As for goals Stoelting would like to see the council take on in 2020, he wrote, “I have no specific goals as president other than to continue the proactive work of the council in 2020. My hope is to continue the economic growth and employment expansion in the town of Syracuse.”