Syracuse — It took the Syracuse Town Council just 16 minutes to complete it’s business Tuesday night, Jan. 21, during its first meeting of the year.
Mike Noe, town manager, requested the council approve Police Chief Jim Layne to be appointed to the Syracuse Redevelopment Commission to replace Dan VanLue who recently passed away. Noe told the council Layne had shown interest in the appointment. The council approved the one-year appointment.
Noe also reported work on the building and influent at the wastewater treatment plant is 75 percent done. The plant has also been running short-handed due to employees dealing with illness. In the water report Noe told the council a valve failed sending rusty water through the system. Hydrants have been flushed and the valves, many of which are at least 14 years old, will be replaced. The street department has been busy with small projects and snow removal.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported park staffers have been busy with housekeeping tasks. The park board received a $10,000 Harkless Grant which will be used for the lighting project the park board has undertaken.
This weekend, a variety of activities will be taking place during the annual Winter Carnival. The park department is co-hosting events with Lakeland Youth Center, Wawasee Kiwanis and the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce.
In March the park department will be hosting princess parties and an indoor garage sale. There are still a few spots open for both parties or to rent a booth for the garage sale. For more information, call the Syracuse Park Department at (574) 457- 3440.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported there were 121 runs last year, an increase over 2018. The new ambulance has arrived and is being detailed. The fire department is trying to sell the transmission and engine from the damaged ambulance.
Scott asks residents to check their carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. The devices are available for free at the fire station.
Paula Kehr-Wicker, clerk-treasurer, reported she is voiding 2-year old checks totaling $216. She also requested the council approve $922,440.27 in encumbrances. Councilman Bill Musser asked if that was a lot to encumbrance. Kehr-Wicker said yes, but noted a lot of last-minute purchases were made at the end of 2019.
Councilman Larry Martindale reported the daycare committee met and has garnered a few new members. An anonymous donor has come forward to assist Little Lambs Daycare in its expansion into a second location. However, Calvary United Methodist Church is having plumbing issues so it could be a year before the expansion takes place. Little Lambs is currently at St. Andrews United Methodist Church.
Martindale also noted the biggest issue for child care is keeping help since the profession doesn’t pay a lot.
In new business, Councilman Tom Hoover noted the council will need to confirm another appointee to the economic development board sometime in the future.
Council President Paul Stoelting appointed Councilman Larry Siegel as council vice president.