Jerry Riffle, a member of the Syracuse Tree Board and a Syracuse Park Board advisor, told the park board during its regular monthly meeting Monday night that at least three trees need to be removed from Henry Ward Park. The board met in that park.
A maple and two cottonwoods trees need to be removed. A cottonwood fell during the recent storm and damaged several other trees as it came down. Riffle said a black walnut tree in Crosson Mill Park also came down on a playground during the storm.
According to Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, funds can be moved around if needed to remove fallen trees.
Riffle also reported 16 crab apple trees in the Village area will be treated for bag worms.
Jonsson also gave an update on the trail project, saying there was only one property to do on Eastshore Drive. The property owner is having a gas line installed and asked for some time, rather than have to rip up the concrete twice.
The trail committee did not receive a grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation, so the committee will work with the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and can reapply to INDOT next year.
In other news, the board discussed the 2015 park budget. Jonsson said the only big increase he was asking for was $7,000 for new equipment — up from $4,000. The department needs a new Gator and there may be an increase in town utilities since the new water meters show the line to the community center is 2-1/2 inches, when it was previously believed to be 1 inch
The park board approved increasing the non-reverting fund for the concession stand to $8,000, from $5,000, so there will be $4,000 available for little league and $4,000 for peewee football.
The board also noted that work will start soon on repairs for the Lakeside Park Gazebo. After repairs, the gazebo will be repainted.
In other business,
- The K21 Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to the community center to renovate the fitness room. Everything should be done by Sept. 15.
- Tyler McLead, program coordinator, reported the farmer’s market is averaging about 30 vendors a week. The Wednesday produce market has been well-received by both vendors and customers.
- The Tour des Lakes ride had 180 riders with an additional 15 participating in the family park tour ride.
- The first Fun in the Park Photo Contest is underway. Photos must be submitted by July 27. This is a contest for youth in grades 12 and under. There is no entry fee Entries must be taken within the Syracuse Park system and may be submitted via message to the Syracuse Park and Recreation’s Facebook page. Fans will have an opportunity to vote. Voting will close on Sunday Aug. 3. Park department staff will also vote and the winners announced Tuesday, Aug. 5. For more information check out the department’s Facebook page.
- Community canoeing will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, July 22-Aug. 19, at the Municipal Pier. Canoes will be used on a first come, first served basis. All equipment will be provided. Canoeing will be supervised by park staff. Waivers must be signed by each participant.
- The Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Club held a Blue Star Memorial dedication Sunday. Advisor Carol Koble, who is also a member of the garden club, said it went well. Board President Dave VanLue said it was very nice and well-attended.
For a complete report of Syracuse’s Monday night park board meeting, see this week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.