By PHOEBE MUTHART
Signs, trees, the new athletic field and restrooms were all addressed at the Syracuse Park Board meeting Monday night, Jan. 11.
The first meeting of the year started with a discussion regarding the parks’ trees. Chad Jonsson, parks superintendent, reported on the activities of the tree board.
The tree board will meet this month to discuss potential tree plantings. In March, Syracuse will know if it’s awarded the Tree City USA designation.
Jonsson also gave last year’s tree summary. The parks department has spent $30,000 on tree removals and plantings.
The tree board is considering a memorial tree for the late Jerry Riffle, a park advisor, at one of the parks.
The park board also had a discussion regarding signage and park rules. Last month, Jonsson gave a copy of the current ordinances that have been passed in regards to the parks. The town is working on updating the existing ordinances, and he would like the park board’s input as to the park ordinances. Allowing dogs in parks was one of the topics mentioned.
“There are people walking through the parks with dogs,” noted Jonsson, who added a potential dog park has been proposed for the town.
In other news, Jonsson reported he is working on a list of potential projects and purchases that would be encumbered to pay for from 2020 budgeted monies. The 2020 encumbrance list was reviewed by the park board that was given the list at the meeting. He said he has $56,000 to use for a variety of projects this year. New chairs have already been purchased for the community center’s senior center room, he said.
The board heard an update on Schrock Field. Jonsson reported the first draft of the design for the new athletic complex fields and buildings have been returned to the engineer for updating.
The board also heard an update on Ward Park. The project includes the boardwalk replacement at the park.
Jonsson passed out a copy of a drawing for the potential restroom and pavilion replacement at Ward Park last month. He asked the park board to review the drawings so it can move forward with getting quotes for the construction. Bid packets are due March 1.
Syracuse Community Center’s restrooms will receive a renovation. Foyle Plumbing will be the contractor for the job. Jonsson said he hopes to have the project done by the end of winter.
The community center’s fiber project will be completed by New Paris Telephone. It will be putting all the lines in for the fiber system.
This year’s museum rental agreement was discussed and approved.
Program Director Darin Lursen reported on the activities the parks department is involved in. December’s family movie night featured “The Polar Express” but only one family attended.
The adult basketball league currently has eight teams registered. It is going well, Lursen said, but no fans are allowed to attend.
Jonsson reviewed the financial report for Dec. 14 to Jan. 11, as well as the financial report for the end of the year 2020.
Dave Van Lue was chosen as this year’s president for a second year and Paul Newcomer as vice president. The next park board meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8.