The Syracuse Park Foundation approved a contract for the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee to hire Marsha Carey as a grant writer. Carey’s contract is for 12 months for $20,000.
Mike Buhrt, chairman of the trail committee, told the foundation board Carey came with three very strong referrals. “We’re looking forward to raising some money,” he said.
Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent of Wawasee Community Schools Corporation and president of the park foundation, explained Carey could get the trail committee set up to be awarded grants beyond her one year contract. Donn Baird, treasurer of both the trail committee and park foundation, added that Carey completed a quick search and had come up with a number of local, state and federal grants the trail committee may be eligible to apply for.
“She wants to attend all our meetings,” Buhrt said. “My feeling is she’s going to work really hard to get us some grants.”
The alternative is for the trail committee to have a member volunteer to do the grant writing, a task no one felt qualified to tackle.
Edington mentioned a school grant writer will also be looking at a Safe Routes to School planning grant for the area around Wawasee Middle School. Buhrt asked when those grants are awarded. Edington said he thought they were awarded several times a year. Edington also said Michiana Area Council of Governments could also help facilitate writing of a planning grant as well as help with engineering.
While Buhrt explained there are 13 people on the trail committee, he said they are not putting down any trail at the moment, but are instead focusing on planning. The committee also has a representative on the Tour des Lakes committee.
In other business, it was noted Kosciusko Community Hospital will be installing bike racks at its Syracuse location, which is the former Arthur’s grocery store. The Kiwanis and Rotary clubs also completed trail maintenance work last month and there was lots of discussion regarding the SR 13 section.
Park superintendent Chad Jonsson, who also serves as executive director of the park foundation, reported on the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. A dedication ceremony was held May 4. Little League games and practices have been played there just about five days a week.
“Definitely a lot more than when we were at the high school. A lot more practices are taking place,” added Dick Pelletier, foundation member.
There are still a few things to be done before Phase I of construction is complete. Funds are being raised for Phase II, which is to install lights on two of the fields for night games. Chad discussed funding and Pelletier mentioned the Turkey Creek Township Advisory board has promised to give the complex $1,000 a year.
For a more in-depth account of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee’s meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.