Water system improvement takes next step

Wendy Werner

A vote by members of the Syracuse City Council earlier this month approved the next step in the city’s water improvement project.

At the Syracuse City Council meeting on May 12, Ordinance 11-01 was approved, authorizing the execution and delivery of a loan contract between the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and the City of Syracuse, and issuance, pursuant to said contract, of a promissory note of the City of Syracuse, in the principal amount of up to $11,254,000 for the purpose of constructing additions and improvements to the water system of the city as a safe drinking water project; pledging and hypothecating the revenues and earnings of the combined utilities owned by the city for the payment of said note.

In other business:

Rachel Zahn was appointed to the Syracuse Planning Commission. The council also discussed the possibility of the same people serving on the Board of Appeals and Board of Adjustments.

The council took action to not renew the franchise agreement with Zito Media and will send a letter to terminating the service effective Sept. 30, 2021.  A postcard will be sent to area residents outlining other options.

In the Building and Zoning Report, a discrepancy between ordinances and zoning codes related to trailer houses was addressed with the result being special permitting required.

In the Sheriff’s Report, Otoe County Sheriff Colin Caudill reported 73 calls for service for the month of April resulting in 62 incident reports. Hours reported for Syracuse were 424.9.

Librarian Sue Antes gave the Library report.  A memorial from Glen Wyatt’s family will be used for large print books for adults.  Other information in the report included 77 youth enrolled in summer reading, the book sale during March and April made $70 that was put towards summer reading program and the library received $963 in state aid accreditation,

A Downtown Revitalization Grant Program focus group will be formed.  

The group will meet a few times to create guidelines. Wesley Halvorsen and Laramie Werner will represent the council

Tom Bliss with SENDD gave a presentation on the Rural Workforce Housing Program. With over $800,000 remaining in the most recent Affordable Housing Trust Fund allocation, Bliss explained how Syracuse could partner with other communities to contribute to a percentage of required match funds that would position them to apply for funds in what was referred to as a very competitive process.  The council decided not to pursue.

The following electrician and plumber licenses were approved. Electricians:  Schneider Electric – Nebraska City and Empire Electric – Douglas.  Plumbers: Southeast Plumbing & Htg. – Syracuse  and Sargent Drilling – Geneva.  

The council went into closed session to discuss and take action to approve compensation for easements.