SYRACUSE — Before the Laudeman Park public planning session and the Syracuse Park Board meeting Monday evening, May 13, two representatives, one from the Syracuse Alumni Association and the other from the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails, presented to the board in regards to serving alcohol at the upcoming alumni banquet and Tour des Lakes.
After quick approval from the board, Pat Brown of SiteScapes explained additions made to the Laudeman Park plans. The session took in final comments from the public and park neighbors before the parks department began finalizing and implementing ideas.
“We want to make it enough, but we don’t want to tip the scales,” Brown commented when met with concerns regarding the small amount of picnic tables. “I think the idea is to just move one step at a time.
“Right now the idea is a natural area with a walking trail, a few picnic tables and a small play area. We want to see how people use it and what problems we may encounter.”
By starting small, there’s opportunity to watch and see what there is a demand for or if things like the tables or play area would fit in a better area.
One individual inquired about restroom facilities. Brown replied, from his experience, restrooms are the “number one headache” when it comes to vandalism and maintenance. While a restroom could be installed, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Parks Superintendent Chad Jonsson added a secured portajohn may be available instead.
Another individual addressed issues the walkway and bridge area are currently experiencing, such as destructive behavior, fighting, motorized vehicles on the walkway and other negative activities. While they believe the park is a good idea, they have concerns regarding lack of supervision combined with existing issues.
David Johnston suggested security cameras, to which Brown said those typically work in his experience. Knowing cameras are present is enough for deter some individuals, whereas being able to rollback and identify an individual vandalizing is another avenue of action.
Brown reassured the public that, by implementing opportunities for positive activities, negative activities will be deterred, adding, “If we do nothing, nothing will change.”
Additionally, measures will be taken to prevent motorized vehicles from entering walkways and that, now it has been brought to their attention, the other issues will be monitored by the parks and trails department.
With no other suggestions or concerns offered, the planning session ended.
Jonsson reported as the department opened the restrooms at Ward Park, they discovered a large water leak in the ceiling and roof. Along with fixing the leak, the roof was reshingled, the ceiling was drywalled again and a few toilets were replaced.
Dylan Schaefer will be the summer intern at the parks department. Schaefer previously worked at the Warsaw Parks Department and is a recent graduate of University of Indianapolis with a major in sports management. He will assist with social media, summer programs and starting new programs until August.
The artisans and farmers market will continue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Sept. 14. The kids market is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 8.
Registration is open for the fifth annual Mudtastic Classic Saturday, June 22. Register online at www.runreg.com/mudtasticclassic or stop by the community center.
School lunches at Lakeside Park will served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. starting June 3 through July.
At 1 p.m. Wednesdays, there will be a free family movie matinee in Celebration Hall.