SYRACUSE — Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported he is still working on the five-year master plan to the Syracuse Park Board Monday night, July 11. Jonsson told the board he was currently looking at costs and how to fund several proposed projects. He will have more to report on at the August meeting.
The parks department received a $20,000 grant for basketball hoops to be installed in the gym. These hoops will be similar to what local high schools use as they fold up out of the way for different events. The parks department still needs an additional $10,000 for the hoops.
The park board also approved the 2017 budget of $419,270, an increase of $21,638 over last year’s budget. Jonsson explained he added more funds to the insurance, due to the park department doing more activities, town utility budget, since the last phase of the sewer increase would be kicking in. More money was also added to the park improvement line with regard to the five-year master plan. The rest of the increase included a 3 percent raise for all employees.
Jonsson also met with Heather Harwood of Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation regarding property purchased near The Channel Marker restaurant. Harwood will come up with a drawing and ideas for a park.
Jonsson reported on July 4 activities, saying the crowd arrived at Lakeside Park really late. Long Drive wasn’t closed until 6:30 p.m. Concession vendors did very well. The crowd was good. Advisor Donna Workman complained about the location of the fireworks barges saying they were too far north in Syracuse Lake.
Tyler McLead, program director, reported the second annual Mudtastic was very successful with 150 runners. The seventh annual Tour de Lakes was also a success with more than 300 riders participating. The Kids Market will be held at the Farmers and Artisans market the second Saturday now through Sept. 6. Art in the Park will be held every Saturday during the Market through Aug. 13.
The town wide garage sales will be Aug. 4-6. Call (574) 457-3440 to get a garage sale on the listing. A kids Olympics will be held at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex Aug. 27. Registration is now open and costs $5 per child.
Jerry Riffle of the Syracuse Tree Board reported sites had been determined for 10 street trees.
In old and new business, Workman said the parks look fantastic and suggested an irrigation system would be an attraction for more vandalism. Police have been recently called due to kids messing with the swimming ropes and light bulbs in the gazebo.
She also brought a few complaints about the public address system not working well in the gym. Board member Kip Schumm suggested wireless speakers.
Board member Mary Hursh asked if there are enough bike racks for area children. Jonsson said yes, but the kids don’t use them. Schumm expressed concern about the shape of the parking lot. Jonsson said plans are to do some repair work, depending on funds, either later this fall or early next spring.