By Phoebe Muthart
SYRACUSE — Syracuse will get 50 new trees this year, the members of the Syracuse Board of Parks and Recreation heard at their Monday night, Feb. 8, meeting.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, reported that Friday, Jan. 29, he had a Zoom meeting with the St. Joseph River Basin Commission in regards to the new trees. He showed the board a map of priority tree planting levels in the town.
“This is where we should plant trees,” he said pointing to the map. “This is where neighborhoods could use trees.”
Funding for the trees came from a St. Joseph River Basin Grant. A recent study noted where in Syracuse trees need to be planted. Jonsson said he will need volunteers to help plant the trees in the fall. He noted the locations for some of the new trees. The trees will be consolidated in three to four potential spots, such as near Main and Dolan streets.
Jonsson gave an update on the new Schrock Field project. He also showed an initial drawing of what the new field will look like.
“We are meeting with the engineer weekly so we can get this done,” he said. Next is the new building design. “I hope to have the specs back by mid-March.”
He said by fall of next year he hopes to play ball there, depending on the weather.
Jonsson gave an update on the Ward Park playground project. He received some quotes and is applying for grants to complete the project. Also the park board received a $7,000 grant from the Harkless Foundation toward the replacement of the boardwalk at Ward Park.
He received an updated quote for the playground, and Jonsson will be working on grant applications to help fund the rest of the Ward Park project.
The community center’s restrooms are currently being renovated by Foyle Plumbing. New bathroom fixtures and toilets are being installed.
Syracuse Community Center’s fiber project is complete, reported Jonsson. New Paris Telephone completed the fiber system project at the community center and he said the upload speeds are much faster.
The parks department got a $50,000 donation to be used for the Laudeman Park project. The project consists of an picnic area, a pavilion and restrooms.
“We’ve looked a couple of options,” he said of the restrooms and its location.
New signage with park rules are being discussed. Last month Jonsson presented the park board with an idea for what a new set of park rules signs might look like. The park board has some discussion regarding dogs in the parks. Dogs would be allowed in parks, according to the town’s insurance company, he said.
Jonsson gave the approval of claims and financial report from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8 and the financial report for January.
Darin Lursen gave the program report. An adult basketball league is currently playing at the community center until March 14. Fans may be permitted once the state goes to the yellow status.
He said he is still considering an indoor garage sale at the community center March 6, depending on COVID regulations.