Lakeside Park pavilion and spring programming were among the items discussed at the Syracuse Parks and Recreation board meeting held Monday evening.
Committee reports came from Jerry Riffle, representing the tree board. Riffle reported a tree is still part of spring planting at Ward Park. Riffle added park superintendent Chad Jonsson reviewed the emerald ash borer grant and decided not to apply for the grant. Jonsson expressed his reason was due to the small margin of funding the department would receive compared to the time it would take in completing the 30 page application.
Jonsson gave the board a department report, noting the community center usage of the fitness room continues to surpass the monthly totals from last year. The superintendent added project updates, informing the committee the turnout for the evening skate at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex had been affected by the fluctuating weather temperatures. He added the Jan. 31 event had a higher attendance when temperatures were more suitable for the ice.
In regards to the Lakeside Park pavilion, the superintendent stated he had received a quote by a local contractor and plans to seek out other businesses that would be able to complete the job with quotes more suitable for the parks budget.
The superintendent is also assessing quotes for the park fertilization program. Jonsson and Riffle recommended some changes based on results from last year. When Jonsson receives quotes from area contractors he will give a report to the board for their consideration.
He continued by expressing a desire to add a power unit to the front of the parks utility vehicle. Also plans for Laudeman Park continue. In Jonsson’s final report, the superintendent informed the board NIPSCO is delivering mulch to the Laudeman Park area. The parks department will use the mulch for future projects. Board president Dave Vanlue requested a copy of a “map” with dimensions to the Laudeman Park area. Vanlue plans to share the information with teachers in order for them to evaluate how to utilize the park for educational purposes.
Tyler McLead gave the committee a program update beginning with plans for the artisans market. McLead will be adding activities for children during market hours including a monthly children’s market.
He continued with past events noting the Kiwanis dinner “had their best turnout” during Winterfest. The chamber of commerce had 19 polar plunges at Oakwood Resort. Jonsson added the community involvement during Winterfest was a “good start.”
McLead reported the community indoor garage sale is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 7, at Syracuse Community Center with all booths booked at this time. Other events include a flashlight Easter egg hunt for ages 11 and up at 9 p.m. Friday, March 27, at Lakeside Park. Then at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28, an Easter egg hunt for children 10 and under will again be hosted at Lakeside Park.
McLead expressed he returned from the state parks and recreation convention with several programming ideas, one of which is a summer mud run. The program director has planned the “mud run” for Saturday, June 27, with the event to be held at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation. A portion of the trail will be set aside for a children’s event. The programs report concluded with mention of a weekly bridge group that meets at 10 a.m. Fridays. The public is welcomed to attend.
The parks and recreation board meeting adjourned with the board’s motion to accept Paul Newcomer’s request to fill the final board member seat, left open at the end of 2014.