SYRACUSE — Several new trail projects, hiring a new director and May’s financial report were the main topics of discussion at Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee meeting Monday, June 17.
With the resignation of the former director, Megan McClellan, the committee discussed hiring a new leader. Applications and resumes are now being accepted for the position of a full-time executive director. The candidate will assist in “the continued development, administration and maintenance of a growing trail system in and around Syracuse, including the Lake Wawasee area.”
The trail committee has successfully built approximately 11 miles of a core trail system already in the greater Syracuse area community. According to the position description, the director must “develop, implement and manage a day-to-day maintenance program for the trails, including recruiting volunteers and hiring contractors.”
“We need someone who will work with the community and who can help raise grants,” said committee member Robert Smith.
The candidate must have a minimum of one year of grant writing experience.
Hours and salary were also discussed. Pay and hours will depend on the candidate’s qualifications. Applications and resumes will be accepted until July 12, with a starting date of Aug. 1.
Applications can be picked up at the Syracuse Community Center or downloaded at www.syracusewawaseetrails.com. For more information contact Chad Jonsson at (574) 457-3440 or [email protected]
Also discussed was the new trail project along SR 13, as well as the Conklin Bay boardwalk project. Construction on the Conklin Bay project is expected to start soon and be completed this year.
There are nine sections of the trail. The goal is to finish the trail system that will loop all around Lake Wawasee. The Syracuse Lake section is over four miles.
“We need funding for these,” stressed Matthew Bochard.
“We are trying to find out where to go next and that’s the dilemma. We will need to do a community outreach,” said Smith.
The goal of the trail system is to connect to four entities: schools, subdivisions, the lakes and the town of Syracuse. Partnerships are being formed to make the trail system complete.
“We want momentum for these projects, said Angie Racolta, a committee member.
Dr. Tom Edington gave the May treasurer’s report. The monthly expenses totaled $4,939.74. Donations for the year, so far, totaled $6,331.40. This figure does not count the over $1 million Next Levels Trail grant received from the state.
The grant will help fund the Conklin Bay project. The project will be 1.37 miles. The Conklin Bay project extends the existing trail with one-third of wetland boardwalk and two-thirds of concrete trail. The new trail will extend the existing 11-mile multi-use trail system in Syracuse.
A new trail section is also proposed along a portion of SR 13.
Tour des Lakes starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, July 20. The bike ride is a major fundraiser for the trails. Visit www.tourdeslakes.com for more information.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the trails office in downtown Syracuse.