By Phoebe Muthart
SYRACUSE — An adopt-a-bench project was discussed at the Syracuse Parks and Recreation Board meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 13.
Chad Jonsson, superintendent of the Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department, told board members about the adopt-a-bench program. Syracuse Parks Department is partnering with Polywood to “offer an unusual gift for someone special, a one-of-a-kind way to recognize a friend, or a unique way to memorialize a loved one,” he noted.
For a minimum donation of $500, one can have a bench installed in one of the Syracuse parks, a plaque engraved with a personal message on the bench, and the bench will be maintained for the next 10 years.
Two benches have been sold already. Jonsson is working on potential sites for the benches once the benches are all purchased.
“We’ve got some options,” he said. Lakeside Park would be one option, he added.
Jonsson gave the committee reports. He reported on the activities of the tree board. He said several trees will be removed and planted this fall. There are 14 trees scheduled to be removed and 12 places trees will be planted.
“There will be a lot done in the next two weeks,” he said, and work should be completed by Monday, Nov. 30.
The updates to the Ward Park Playground project are still being conducted. Jonsson met with Midstates Recreation about installing the new playground equipment and he will be working on an updated quote “we can use to apply for grants.”
The results of a study for the St. Joe River Basin grant will be determined by Monday, Nov. 9.
Jonsson gave the department reports and an update on current projects. The work on the Veterans Memorial Park fountain was discussed. The park board agreed once dredging is complete, work on the fountain will be done in the spring. Fences have been installed at the park and grass seeding has been done.
Jonsson gave an update on Schrock Field. The deadline for equipment to be removed is Friday, Nov. 13. Polywood has bought the property. Also, light poles and the concession stand will be removed.
“We haven’t seen a plan from the engineer yet,” Jonsson said of the new field.
Jonsson reported work continues on Laudeman Park and seeding the prairie has been done. Last month, the park board discussed the potential planting options and decided the combination of seed packages would be the best option. Jonsson is working on grant applications and getting a couple of quotes. A new pavilion may be done and work could start and be done in about 18 months.
New telephone and internet service at the community center will be installed by New Paris Telephone. However, Jonsson said he is not sure when it will be completed.
Jonsson reported on the programs and activities the parks department is involved in.
He also gave the update on upcoming programs, including the fall indoor garage sale scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17.
Instead of the annual fall carnival, the parks department is hosting a drive-thru trick or treat event from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Holiday Magic will be Saturday, Nov. 28, at Veterans Memorial Park, and Breakfast with Santa is tentatively set for Saturday, Dec. 5.
The approval of claims and the financial report from Sept. 14 to Oct. 13 was done and the financial report for the end of September was given by Jonsson.