With a new budget for 2015, Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee met Monday night to wrap up some business and prepare for 2015.
For the first time since the committee’s inception, executive director Megan McClellan submitted a budget. McClellan discussed the budget with committee members. The budget is for known expenses, she told the board.
The budget includes money for signage. She has budgeted $10,000 for signage for both on-road and on-trail signs. For 18 on-road, “share the road” signs the cost is $109.63 each. For four “narrow bridge, share the road signs” the cost is $109.63 each. Finally, optional signs are $109.47 each for 20 signs. They are expensive but needed, said McClellan. She also budgeted for on-trail signs, too. For Syracuse Lake’s portion of the trail called “loop the lake” the cost is only $87 each. “They are much cheaper,” she said. “The more signage the more notice.”
Citing the budget as a road map, by committee member Kay Young, the budget was then approved in principle. Treasurer Donn Baird told McClellan, “I think you did a good job.”
The committee also discussed the need for bollards, which would keep snowmobiles off the boardwalk bridge portion of the trail. For a post and base unit, the cost is $770 each. The installation cost is $454 each at a cost of $4,896 for four. “They are expensive.” McClellan stated. The committee also discussed the need for removable or non-removable bollards.
“If there’s a better solution, we should do it,” said Baird. After considering the cost and need, the committee decided to postpone the decision until all committee members could be present.
McClellan named Baird Volunteer of The Month. Baird gave the treasurer’s report. There is $231,924.41 for an ending balance. A $50,000 donation was given by the Miller family to be used for the WACF portion of the trail. It is for a lane trail, said McClellan.
Also, $5,000 is in the trail account from WPOA earmarked for the fish hatchery trail. Of the trail funds, $31,600 is reserved for salary and office expenses.
‘It’s been a big year for donations,” said Baird.
The committee also discussed check writing privileges and store accounts. The board decided to open accounts at three local stores. It was decided someone on the park foundation and someone on the committee, other than Baird, can sign or write checks.
McClellan met with the DNR regarding the WACF boardwalk. The DNR wanted to see a more detailed plan before they can determine whether mitigation is necessary and what permits will be needed.
She discovered a county-wide parks department is being considered. There are numerous advantages of a county-wide park system, such as grants, and possibly taking over the trails, at some point.
McClellan met with designers for the trail from Harkless Drive to the WACF area. Three companies are being considered for the design. A new trail planning committee, consisting of four members, was formed to consider proposals. Also, two position descriptions were addressed. The need for a minutes taker and a vice chair was noted; the matter will be discussed at the next meeting.
The clearing of brush near Vawter Park was discussed. Several committee members said they will clear the brush.
Finally, McClellan suggested the committee do a mission statement and vision especially since the website will be updated in 2015. “It should be short and needs to be on our letterhead,” she noted.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 19.