Syracuse Council Passing 10-Year Tax Abatement For Travel Star

The following from Denise Fedorow, Times-Union Correspondent

Syracuse Town Council members met for their first meeting of 2021 and passed a resolution granting a 10-year tax abatement for Travel Star.

According to Town Manager Mike Noe, Travel Star is adding a new facility at the Syracuse Tech Park and will be creating 10 new jobs initially with hopes to add more in the future.

The council passed two task orders for Commonwealth Engineers – one for $8,500 for wellhead protection at the water plant. The other task order is for $67,000 for phaser ratings for the street department and also for engineering for the Railroad Street and CR 1300 crossing. Noe said Commonwealth will be helping them to apply for the Community Crossing grant.

Marlin Miller, owner of John’s Butcher Shop and Bounthanh’s Egg Rolls in Nappanee, gave a presentation of what he’d like to do with the old Syracuse Elementary School and asked the council to rezoning the property to commercial and residential.

Noe said that Miller wants to put 47 apartments and a food processing plant in the building, using the former classroom space for the apartments and the cafeteria and kitchen for the food processing. He’ll keep the retail space in Nappanee and wants to just move the food processing to the proposed Syracuse location. Reportedly, the plans call for a $3 million investment.

Council members wanted more information on traffic flow issues if that plan were to be approved. No action was taken on the request at Tuesday’s meeting but the hope is to get additional information and revisit the request next month.

In other business, the Council:

• Approved giving $7,500 to Kosciusko County Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), which was half of what they were requesting, but $2,500 more than they originally planned.

• Approved the 2020 encumbrances into 2021.

• Heard Noe is working with KLN to reduce the amount of copper that is found in the water.

• Heard Police Chief Jim Layne ordered three new patrol cars and radios.

• Heard fiber optic is being installed at the water plant.