Syracuse Park Foundation board approved accepting a donation from an anonymous donor to pay for an executive director’s salary for the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Mike Buhrt, trail committee chairman, explained a sub-committee has come up with a job description and the trail committee would like to have a new director hired by Aug. 1. But board member Dick Pelletier questioned the trail committee’s need for a paid executive director. Donn Baird, treasurer for both the park foundation and trail committee, explained communities around Syracuse that have trails have professional staff working on them.
As part of the job description, the new director will have to find a way to self-fund the position after the first two years.
The park foundation board also approved the trail committee renewing its contract with Marsha Carey, the committee grant writer. The contract is for $10,000, significantly less than last year. Buhrt explained Carey felt she has already laid out a significant amount of ground work last year so writing grants won’t take up so much time.
The trail committee also learned Kosciusko County Administrator Ron Robinson will be meeting with the Indiana Department of Transportation June 3, although at press time a time for the presentation was unavailable.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent and executive director of the park foundation, reported Middlebury Electric has completed its work installing the light poles at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. Ritter Electric will now come in and run power to the lights.
The parking lot has been repaired to a point. Work will be completed when the town has completed some storm water work. Jonsson is also working with Wawasee High School to transfer bleachers from the school to the athletic complex. Limestone for the walking path has been ordered and should be arriving shortly.
Among the ideas Jonsson has for using the complex in the winter is to install a hockey or ice rink on the largest field. He would also like to use the complex for events such as snow soccer or snow softball or using the complex as the start/finish line of a 5K during the annual snowmobile races.
Jonsson told the board the Syracuse Park Board is reviewing priorities and projects and the purchase of Rotary Park will be part of that discussion.
The park foundation is still looking for new board members.
Representatives of the K21 Foundation will be at the Syracuse Community Center to look at the fitness room and review the proposed expansion project. The park department has applied for a $40,000 grant.
Buhrt asked about continuing the sidewalk on Harkless down to SR 13. Jonsson said the town may be discussing that as part of this year’s sidewalk plan. He also said it could possibly be a combined trail/town project. He would talk with Jeremy Sponseller, public works superintendent, and report back.