Among the items on the agenda at the July meeting of the Syracuse City Council was approval for the purchase of a new mower for the Park Hill Cemetery.

Representatives of state and federal agencies addressed members of the Syracuse City Council at their regular meeting on Wednesday, July 17, in regard to the city’s water project aimed at developing a new well field and transmission line for the city’s residents.
Originally, the Syracuse project was to be funded through a loan and grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. Steve McNulty of the Drinking Water Division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services came to the last meeting of the Syracuse City Council to advise the city about possible savings that could be realized through funding from the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
McNulty was again present at the meeting on Wednesday and was joined by representatives from the USDA including Ken Shaw.
Numbers provided by the USDA were aimed at addressing the funding differences between USDA and the State Revolving Fund.
Details of the USDA plan and its comparison to the State Revolving Fund were not immediately made clear as more investigation is required. The council directed its engineering firm, JEO, to examine the plans and return to the city council meeting on Aug. 14, to provide advice on which plan would be the best.
The decision to further examine both proposals before moving forward doesn’t impact the timeline or push any deadline for a decision.

In other news, the council members:
Voted to approve the officer list for the Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department for 2019-2020. Bruce Neemann will continue as the Fire Chief. Assistant Chiefs will be Eric Fass, Craig Hemje and Craig Boldt. Captains will be Darin Lintner and Adam Holz. The President will be Tim Seelhoff and the Secretary/Certification Administrator will be Thomas Neemann. The Treasurer is Chris Lutjemeyer. The only change is that Mike Goering has stepped down from a role as an Assistant Chief. Goering had served as a command officer for 27 years with the last 14 as an assistant chief. He will have 35 total years of service with SVFD as of December. Goering has indicated his desire to retire but Neemann said they hope to keep him on board.
Voted to approve the purchase of up to five sets of bunker gear for the Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department. Neemann said new gear has been phased in over time and that this was the third round of the effort. Neemann also said the he recently learned that Omaha’s firefighters are just starting this process, so Syracuse is about three years ahead of Omaha in addressing this issue. City Attorney Jerry Stilmock said the purchase of bunker gear is more about health and safety of the fire department members than it is about purchasing something just for the sake of it being new.
Voted to approve Chuck Bjork as a new member of the Syracuse Cemetery Board.
Voted to approve the purchase of an Exmark 33-inch, rear discharge stand up mower from KanEquip, Inc., of Syracuse for $6,500. The commercial mower will allow Syracuse Park and Recreation employees to navigate through headstones to get the best mowing result possible at Park Hill Cemetery.
Decided to return bids and ask for more information in regard to spray foam insulation for the Parks Shop. One of the bids was favored at the meeting but that bid included a product that the other bidders may have added had they known it was a desired part of the bid request. Once bidders are made more aware of the specifics of the request for bids, the exact comparison will be made and the council members will be able to act on the bid that serves the city’s needs at the lowest possible price point.
Voted to move forward with a five-year contract with Unite Private Networks to provide high speed internet to the city and to provide the opportunity for larger entities, such as the school and the hospital, to tap into the high speed internet. A high speed internet option for residental use is being explored by the city of Syracuse at this time but would come from a different source.
Passed a resolution which establishes a waiverable fee schedule for city ordinances not covered by the state. This would allow visitors who violate city ordinances to pay by waiver rather than having to return to the area to appear in court on the matter. The fee schedule was developed through the cooperation of the city attorney and the Otoe County Sheriff’s Department.
Voted to approve street closures for the Otoe County Fair Parade. The street closures are effective from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.