Syracuse Town Council Takes No Action On Pearl Street Encroachment
By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — Gordon and Laurie Lord approached the Syracuse Town Council during its regular meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 22, regarding a retaining wall encroaching into the town’s right of way.
The Lords are renovating a property on Lake Street, including repairing a retaining wall that encroaches into the town’s right of way. Gordon Lord explained the wall has been encroaching into the right of way since it was built in the 1960s.
After some discussion the council told the Lords it would take no action against them as they repair and reenforce the wall.
Jeremy Hardy of Commonwealth Engineers Inc., the town’s engineering firm, brought a recommendation of hiring F.A. Wilhelm for the Lakeside water main loop and Oakwood lift station projects.
Hardy explained the agreement with F.A. Wilhelm would be nonbinding until a contract is signed. The company would also allow and encourage street and water department crews to perform some of the work in-house, saving the town money in the end. The council accepted the recommendation.
Town attorney Jay Rigdon was asked to give an update regarding the legality of the town donating land to the library board for a new library. Rigdon reported the town may donate land; he just needed a legal description. If he can get the legal description soon he can have the deed approved by the council at its March meeting.
Dave Wilkinson, town manager, has contacted an engineering firm about updating and enhancing two municipal parking lots. A public meeting allowing for community input will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the council chambers of Syracuse Town Hall, 310 N. Huntington St., Syracuse.
The council approved, 3-1, spending $85,000 to build a climate controlled building to store permanent records for the clerk-treasurer’s office and the Syracuse Police Department. Currently those records are stored in the mezzanine of a public works building. Because the building is not climate controlled, the records are starting to deteriorate.
Councilman Nathan Scherer voted against the proposed building after asking about digital storage of the records. Both Virginia Cazier, clerk-treasurer, and Mark Aurich, public works superintendent, told the council that during state audits, auditors want to review the physical documents, not computer records.
Wilkinson reported the utility fund lost revenue in 2021 and 2022 and is set to lose more money by the end of 2023. He requested a rate study be done. Council approved the study.
Scherer, who is replacing Larry Martindale representing District 4, was appointed to the Syracuse Metro Police Commissioners and the Turkey Creek Fire Territory boards.
Police Chief Jim Layne reported he is going through internal hiring for an officer who recently left the department. The newly purchased in-car cameras have been installed.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported the indoor/outdoor garage sale will be held Saturday, March 4. Rotary’s poker tournament will be held Saturday, March 11.
During Aurich’s report, the council approved purchasing a new John Deere tractor with a manure spreader for $81,233.32.
Aurich is looking to hire a replacement for Jim Glaze, who recently retired. He hopes to hire a licensed operator for the water department.
The council approved spending $879,000 with half, $439,560, paid up front for a new firetruck. Delivery of the new truck will be taken in 3 1/2 years. The new truck will replace one that is approximately 20 years old.
In the clerk-treasurer’s report, Cazier requested a special meeting be scheduled to discuss employee insurance. After consulting with the state board of accounts, human resources and Rigdon, she requested a special meeting to discuss aspects of the town’s health insurance, which appear to be extremely vague. The meeting will be scheduled at a later date.
In new business, Councilman Bill Musser, reported a committee will be formed to select new Christmas decorations.
Prior to the town council meeting, the Syracuse Redevelopment Commission met for its regular meeting. Dave Rosenberry was sworn in as a member of the commission. Officers were elected for 2023, with Larry Siegel as president, Jeff Goralczyk as vice president and Cory Mast as secretary.