Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee gave an update on several trail projects at Monday’s meeting.
The Syracuse Lake project is very close to finishing, with just a couple of minor places left to finish. “That completes the five-mile loop around Syracuse Lake,” said Megan McClellan, executive director.
As far as the Harkless Drive project, the committee is working with the city on putting sidewalks on the trail. A board of works survey needs to be done, said McClellan, “so we can determine some proposals on the cost so we can start raising some funds.”
Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s boardwalk section of the trail is being worked out. A proposed route will be taken to WACF’s board for approval. The trail is located on WACF’s property and in wetlands. The proposal will be taken to Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; a pre-permit is still needed first.
“This is a way to get down SR 13 without going on the road,” said McClellan, with added benefits for environmental education about wetlands.
The committee received the Safe Routes to School Grant, said McClellan. The grant is for approximately $16,500. Written in conjunction with Wawasee Community School Corp. Superintendent Tom Edington, McClellan said, “We are forming a task force, which will include parents, and school administration.” A non-infrastructure grant, it will help gain baseline data on how many children use the trails to get to school. It will also be used to map where students come from to get to Wawasee Middle School. It’s in the planning stage and in the spring it will possibly be implemented and the committee will have a kick-off event.
Don Baird gave the treasurer’s month report. Total donations for last month were $3,445 and total expenses for September were $9,539.94, with a total ending balance of $84,184. The Gatlin concert last month in North Webster raised $8,078, but the committee spent more than $4,000, so $2,500 was raised from the concert.
McClellan nominated Jodi Buhrt as Volunteer of the Month. Buhrt helped with putting up pumpkins on telephone poles for a lamppost decorating contest. She has also helped with other projects.
The website still needs to be updated and office hours at the chamber are coming soon. Brochures are being updated that will be more long-term brochures. McClellan said she will be doing a quarterly newsletter, starting sometime by December.
Concerns from North Shore Drive residents were addressed and the matter has been resolved. The committee decided to attach the trail section to the sidewalk.
Board member Bob Trame talked about bollards that have not been approved yet; cost estimates are still needed. More signage is being proposed, as the budget allows.
McClellan talked to the local Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts and they are working on sketches of kiosks for the trailheads, which will be the two groups’ project.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 17, at Syracuse Community Center.