Photo: playground concept from Creative Sites

SYRACUSE –  The Syracuse City Council acted on proposed improvements to the sports complex and a playground at Williams Park at its meeting Wednesday.

K & J Elite 's contract was approved for $32,680 to  make improvements to the ball fields at the complex.

The council approved $50,000 from keno funds for a new, wheel-chair accessible playground proposed at Williams Park. The playground cost is expected to be up $450,000 to  $550,000.

Julie Beach said $50,000 has already been raised and the committee is hoping for $100,000 by the end of the year. The committee is asking for donations to the Syracuse Foundation to help reach that goal.

She said the committee hopes to have a completion date in the summer of 2024. A 5K shamrock shuffle is scheduled in March.

Derek Harms submitted a bid of $10,500 per year with a three-year contract to remove debris from the burn piles. Harms removes debris twice a year.

Dan Mauk of Nebraska City Area EDC said the organization has received a grant from Nebraska Children and Families to support child care with ARPA funds. Mauk said the EDC will provide $40,000 in matching funds to help in-home child care providers become licensed within the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca school district.

Sheriff Colin Caudill  reported that the sheriff’s office has hired three new people. He also reiterated with the holidays coming up the scams would also be increasing and encouraged citizens to be aware  of their surroundings and retrieve packages promptly from home porches.

Sheriff Caudill said his office is  working on an Internet safety class for high schoolers and adults, presented by their technical team for education on phone and internet scams.

 Syracuse residents  and  businesses are urged to participate in a Christmas decorating contest.

Participants need to register at City Hall by Dec. 1. Prizes include $25, $50 and $100 off of utility bills.

Voting is Dec. 2 to Dec. 20. Ballots for voting can be found on City Hall's Facebook page.

Syracuse city council voted to increase utility rates by 2%. Dave Peterson of JEO presented a rate review to the council and recommended the increase.