By Phoebe Banks
SYRACUSE — A no-leash, dog-friendly facility and an update regarding the new Schrock Field were the top topics discussed at Syracuse Board of Parks and Recreation Board’s meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.
The work on the new ball field is close to hitting a home run. Recently, work has included grading and seeding, among other projects. “We are getting there,” said Chad Jonsson, park superintendent.
A parking lot and a building are planned for this year as well as power, water, sewer work and underground storm water installation.
Jonsson has applied for a sewer permit, adding, “We will be on city sewer and water. The state needs to approve the application and review it,” he said.
“I’ve talked to REMC,” he said. A building could be built as soon as this month.
Jonsson didn’t note an opening date for the new baseball and football field but it could be next year. “We could be playing football there next fall,” Jonsson said confidently.
A no-leash dog park is currently being proposed. The new dog park would most likely be built at the corner of Main and Dolan streets. Jonsson showed park board members a concept perspective of the canine-friendly park. He is working on the final design with USI in Indianapolis.
“It gives you an idea of what we can do,” said Jonsson of the drawing. Plans include a large dog side and another side for smaller pooches. Kip Schumm, a park board member, said he is meeting with Nappanee officials regarding its dog-friendly, no-leash park, today.
Syracuse will be given 50 trees to plant in the community in the spring. The trees were given to the city from a grant.
Two large tree plantings in a couple of locations are being proposed. A presentation last month drew 30 people to hear the importance of trees in a community.
Trees marked with Xs will be removed including one at Lakeside Park.
“We will be reviewing those,” said Jonsson.
The community center’s parking lot was recently sealed. Two larger handicapped parking spots were added.
Jonsson presented the financial report from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12 and the financial report for September. A new utility vehicle, a John Deere Gator, could come as soon as January.
Darin Lursen, program director, gave the program report. Syracuse Harvest Festival drew a record crowd this past weekend with twice as many people and good weather. Indoor garage sales will be this weekend from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A haunted house will be located across the street from town hall from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30. A drive-thru trick-or-treat will be from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 30. A euchre tournament will be Nov. 5.
A sleigh painting class will be Nov. 9. The two-hour class will cost $45 per person.
Mary Hursh, a park board member, asked about the possibility of expanding the museum, which is located inside the community center. Jonsson said that’s a possibility with funding, personnel and maintenance being the biggest hurdles.
“The museum needs to stay here,” stressed Schumm.