By Phoebe Muthart
A presentation from the Rotary Club was the first item of business at the Syracuse Board of Parks and Recreation meeting Monday, July 12.
First on the agenda was Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club’s request for a Texas Hold’em event Sept. 11, in order to serve alcohol and to use the gym at the Syracuse Community Center. The estimated attendance is around 200.
Any gym rentals or use of the Celebration Hall patio that includes alcohol needs prior permission from the park board.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, said several trees need to be removed in some of the parks, including Lakeside Park.
“That’s all the tree board is working on,” he said. “Fall plantings will begin in a few weeks.”
Jonsson gave an update on the new Schrock Fields ball park. “It looks good,” said park board member Kip Schumm.
Beer and Slabaugh will be doing the work.
“We are waiting on an erosion control plan. It’s been six weeks, and we need to get the permit soon so they can start,” said Jonsson.
Parking and traffic issues were discussed. Jonsson suggested an entrance like at Syracuse Elementary School would work.
“We can do a temporary driveway at any time,” Jonsson said. “As soon as we get a permit, we’ll be ready to turn dirt.”
Jonsson reported the boardwalk project at Henry Ward Park has gone well.
“The boardwalk at Ward Park looks nice,” said Jonsson. “There’s two benches there and three left to be adopted. I’m working on funding from grants.”
Signage at Hoy’s Beach has been installed. In addition, landscaping and plantings and mulch have been done. “I think it looks a lot better,” he said.
Lakeside Park’s gazebo siding and railing are currently being done. Siding is being delivered July 26 and then the railing work can be done.
Jonsson gave the board members the 2022 park budget. There is a 4.11% increase overall for the budget. Jonsson said a 2007 Gator may need to be replaced soon.
“We’ve gotten 14 years of use and abuse out of it,” said Jonsson. “It’s been a real asset to the garden club,” said Schumm.
Next year’s budget will be presented at the Syracuse Town Council meeting Tuesday, July 20.
Darin Lursen, program director, gave his report. “The Mudtastic Classic June 19 was a success. We had 300 people and no injuries,” he said.
The parks department and Syracuse Public Library are partnering on a story time at Lakeside Park for this summer. Story time will be at 11 a.m. this Thursday, July 15.
The Artisan and Farmers Market had 20 vendors July 4 weekend. “It’s the busiest I’ve seen in three years. I hope that continues,” Lursen said.
Tour des Lakes is this Saturday, July 17. So far, he is expecting 320 people or higher, like maybe closer to 400 people.
Town-wide garage sales will be Aug. 5-7. A triathlon will be July 31.
The park is offering a Wednesday movie matinee for families this summer. Movies begin at 1 p.m. and will be held until school begins in August.
Park board member Jeff Nicodemus concluded the meeting by asking how progress is being made on several other park projects. Jonsson said he is working on all of them.
The next meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 9.