Syracuse Park Board is working on a five-year master plan. During the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 9, Chad Jonsson, park director, presented a possible projects list derived from the survey.
Jonsson said the survey shows the park department has things it needs to do.
Some of the ideas were possible uses for the Syracuse Elementary School when the new school is built, a dog park, and a splash pad. Jonsson sought input from the board.
One question was the Henry Ward Park Project, which involves replacing the bathrooms as well as the boardwalk.
Jonsson said the park department will start working on that next year. He is in contact with Michiana Area Council of Governments regarding applying for grants.
Board member Paul Newcomer asked about the Dolan Drive development. Jonsson explained the property has potential for development and the town may ask the parks department to be involved.
Board member Mary Hursh asked about the Hoy’s Beach seawall noting it would be expensive. Jonsson noted the existing seawall, about 20 feet, is eroding creating a safety issue. The plan is to repair or replace the current wall that is there. Hursh asked if more sand could also be dumped at the beach. Jonsson said it’s been done before and noted the beach needed attention next year.
Hursh also suggested a town cleanup day where volunteers would come and help clean up the town parks.
Jonsson reported he is working with Wawasee High School in a grant from K21 Foundation for equipment such as skates, goals and sticks for physical education classes and for public rental. Jonsson is still working on the details on how to handle rentals to the public.
Jerry Riffle, tree board member, passed around a report detailing sites for trees to be planted due to soil type. Approximately 12-13 street trees will be removed along with approximately 20 dead ash trees at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. The tree board is also looking into removing a large cottonwood in Henry Ward Park. Town Manager Henry DeJulia wrote a grant for GIS positioning for public trees including those in Oakwood.
Riffle will be giving a presentation on recognizing tree defects at 8 a.m. Dec. 8 at the street department for park and street employees.
In end of the year projects, the snowflakes will start going up later this week and be installed in time for Holiday Magic Nov. 21. The parks department also received funds for a tile scrubber from Wawasee Kiwanis.
Registration is ongoing for the adult basketball league. The first game will be Jan. 10. Once again letters to Santa will be available to area youth. There will be a mailbox in the lobby of the Syracuse Community Center so letters can go directly to the North Pole. The next Pinterest class will be an ornament workshop Dec. 7. There is a fee.
Other events include Holiday Magic from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 21 at Crosson Mill and breakfast with Santa from 8-11 a.m. Dec. 5 at the Syracuse Community Center. The park board will also hold a free movie night at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11. “Elf” will be shown.
Those attending should bring chairs or a blanket to sit on. Concessions will be available.