The Syracuse Park Foundation discussed purchasing 6.5 acres belonging to the Syracuse Rotary during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. The property is located just off of Wildwood Drive in Wawasee Heights.
Syracuse Park Superintendent and executive director of the park foundation, Chad Jonsson, asked for volunteers to sit down with representatives from the Rotary club to discuss the property transfer. Dan Buchman volunteered.
In reference to foundation treasurer Donn Baird’s inquiry, Jonsson explained the property was originally purchased as a possible location for the Scout cabin, however, more suitable property was found on CR 300.
The only major expense Jonsson could see in maintaining the property is keeping it mowed. There are no plans to develop the property, which features a pond. Jonsson noted the property could be used for a variety of ways as is, including high school science classes. He is also in favor of promoting nature programming using the property.
Mike Buhrt, chair of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee, asked about an easement along McConnell/Skinner Ditch, as purchasing the property opened up an opportunity for a trail segment.
There was a question as to how deep the pond is. Jonsson said no one seems to know, although people in the neighborhood have noted there is always water in the pond and it never really freezes over in the winter time.
Buhrt also volunteered to help in the negotiations and asked if there was a time frame for purchasing the property. Jonsson said the Rotary Club would like a decision made as soon as possible. The property is not currently listed with a realtor.
In old business, Dick Pelletier reported he is working on Phase II of the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. Phase II involves installing lights and bleachers at the park. Board member Amy Rensberger asked for a donor database Pelletier could use. Pelletier said soliciting donations has been difficult because he doesn’t know a lot of people with a lot of personal wealth.
Rensbeger asked what it would cost to complete Phase II and was told $110,000, $90,000 for lights and 20,000 for the bleachers. Rensberger asked if the parents of children in the little league program have been approached to contribute. Pelletier said they would next spring. The football parents have been asked to help out.
Rensberger also suggested a mailer be sent to parents. Pelletier said he would work on that. Rensbeger suggested team sponsors also be approached to participate.
Baseball and softball games have ended for the season. The sleeves for the football goal posts have been installed with the posts going in later this week. Football practice for PeeWee Football begins Aug. 6 and games begin Aug. 17.
Mike Buhrt, chairman of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Project, informed the foundation the trail committee’s grant writer is pursing a number of grants. Phil Beer II is assisting the trail committee in setting up a meeting with the Indiana Department of Transportation regarding the SR 13 segment of the trail.
Committee member Bob Trame and his crew have been busy cutting brush back from the trails and the committee recently authorized some restriping and repainting of cross walks.
Trail committee members continue to work with local businesses on installing bike racks. Work is also being done to revamp the trail committee’s web site, including offering a way to donate on-line.
For a more in-depth account of the park foundation meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.