Syracuse Council discusses mosquito issues

SYRACUSE — Syracuse Council mounted mosquito defense, convened with water board members, delivered a final report on London Pool, and discussed legal concerns related to the discontinued walking path in regular session on Thursday.

Council also took action to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of council member Scott Wolfe. The Aug. 10 meeting also saw the final reading and adoption of a measure that allows the fire department to bill for accident scene towing, a cost typically absorbed by insurance companies.

Based on recent testing by the Meigs County Department of Health, Mayor Eric Cunningham moved forward with plans to dig out a nameless creek between London Pool and Marina Drive.

The Meigs County Health Department detected West Nile virus in samples taken from the village, and Cunningham said the creek digging came at the recommendation of the health officials.

As Cunningham discussed with council, “We’ve intended to dig out that area but it’s been too wet” to accomplish with regular tools and labor — council approved the expense for larger equipment to immediately remove the standing water and free up the creek flow.

Cunningham said the health department is working with the village to identify any other locations and treatments, if needed.

Board of Public Affairs (BPA) members Gordon Winebrenner and Al Graham sought approval to pursue grants for water line replacement on sections of Rt. 164.

“Both of these projects are really needed,” said Grants Administrator Fred Hoffman, and discussion noted the area had frequent issues over several decades.

BPA President Winebrenner said, “The water board and council want to work together, and get an estimate of replacement costs,” a difficult task given the Village’s tight financial situation.

Modernization projects might incur debt that is then passed on to consumers, Graham told council. “We’re trying to keep the water bills down but still get the job done.”

Council approved four resolutions regarding two grants, though Hoffman acknowledged “It is almost impossible to get full funding (for these types of projects) anymore.

Council heard a report on London Pool now that it has closed until next summer.

Pool Manager Trey Pickens told Council “Financially, this is one of the more successful years,” and presented a list of leftover inventory for council to determine its fate.

Fiscal Officer Crystal Cottrill said exact profit/loss figures would become available after outstanding payroll expenses and closing costs concluded.

Council President Eber Pickens said contractor Pool Masters will winterize and close the pool, and noted 2017 was the first year the pool did not close due to water quality.

Bills were referred to the Finance Committee.

For their final act of their monthly meeting, Syracuse council appointed David Poole to fill the seat vacated by Scott Wolfe.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Syracuse Village Council is Thursday, Sept. 14 in the Syracuse Municipal Building.

Poole appointed to vacant seat

By Michael Hart

Special to the Sentinel

Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.