Mayor's vote breaks tie on city ordinance

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

At the Syracuse City Council meeting, Wednesday, July 14, a motion to introduce an ordinance allowing fowl in city limits failed on a two to two tie vote broken by Mayor Deb Dettmer.  Voting no were council persons Orv Gigstad and Jerry Werner; voting yes were council persons Wesley Halvorsen and Laramie Werner; Dettmer broke the tie with a no vote.

The council also addressed Sections 4-1(b)(2), 4-32(a)(2)(b) and 4-72(a)(2)(b) and directed City Attorney Jerry Stilmock to draft language clarifying animals and livestock only be permitted on the Otoe County Fairgrounds during the fair, shows and other organized efforts.

Elaine Zahn, on behalf of a committee working on the Syracuse Sixth Street Community Garden, provided drawings of the proposed plan for the green space at 6th and Midland Streets.  

Proposed plans include a living Tannenbaum that will also provide shade; tables and chairs; a pergola; bronze sculpture; solar fixtures, a pollinator garden and other amenities. 

 The committee made up of Elaine Zahn, Colleen Christensen, Brianne Wilhlem, Terry Zimmers and Zahn are working with local master gardeners who are on the committee, representatives from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and the UNL Forestry Department. 

 he master gardeners will plant and maintain the plant beds but the grass will be maintained by the city’s parks and rec department.  

Also under the Parks and Rec report, a new drinking fountain for the sports complex was approved for purchase and research is being done on the purchase of a trailer.  Parks and Rec Manager, Jill Crook, reported the Aqua Center is seeing 150 kids a day, the second week of swimming lessons has been completed and seven teams are playing t-ball.

Ordinance 11-05 was approved amending Sections 30-89 and 30-91 of the Syracuse Municipal Code redefining the types of vehicles and trailers that may be parked on residential streets and for how long.  Resolution 21-26 approved an application to place recreational vehicle in transitional ag zone district via a conditional use permit.

Approval was granted to use the sand volleyball courts at the complex for a tournament on August 27 in conjunction with GermanFest and allow for the consumption of alcohol within a fenced in area surrounding the courts.  

Tim Collin with the Beer Stein and Rich Halama with Rich Harvest Winery were granted SDL’s for the 2021 GermanFest Beer Garden August 28-29.  Wendy Werner, Executive Director of the Syracuse Area Chamber of Commerce appeared before the council requesting an amendment to the previously approved street closings for the GermanFest parade. 

 The council approved Werner’s request to move the street closings up to 9 a.m. so that the kiddie parade could move up to 10:30 a.m. and the Grande Parade up to 11 a.m. to work around the Cornhusker football kickoff time of 12 noon and to also close 4th Street from Poplar to Plum.  A street closure request from Luther Memorial Church was approved to close Mohawk Street from 11th to 12th Streets on September 12, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sheriff Colin Caudill reported 77 calls for service that resulted in 56 incident reports.  The Otoe County Sheriff’s department logged 441.5 hours for the month of June.  In the Library Report, Librarian Sue Antes said 125 students were participating in the summer reading program. 

 Antes advised there is not an ordinance outlining how the library board members are chosen.  In the Ambulance Report, Rebecca Lechner was approved as a new member of the rescue squad pending the service’s approval July 20, 2021.  

Chief Tim Wilson said that he is following up with individuals who have shown interest in joining as a result of the committee’s work on trying to recruit new members. 

The council approved Resolution 21-25 approving BMG Engagement Letter for 21-22 budget prep services.