By Keith Knepp
SYRACUSE — Members of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee gathered Monday evening to consider its next actions following its further review of its recently concluded feasibility study.
Executive Director Erlene Yentes previously had asked members to prioritize their top three trail sections and offer discussion as to why they were important. The discussion that followed considered the pros and cons of many ideas, including starting with financially obtainable projects, whether multiple sections should be physically consecutive and how the town of Syracuse might be able to help pay for part of the projects that are taking place within the town limits.
Following the discussion, it was preliminarily decided to explore the possibility of expanding the trail to Wawasee Middle School and the possibility of a trail at the new athletic fields.
Discussion also centered on a public survey being created to seek the public’s opinions on trail expansion priorities. Additionally, the committee plans to host a virtual and in-person informative meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, via Zoom, to engage the community in the project. Those in town can come to the Syracuse Community Center to join in.
In other business, Yentes informed the committee that she has been busy seeking grants from various sources, including from the Harkless Foundation for Mud Lake trail repair, Indiana Trails and T-Mobile. The Committee also will be participating in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30 by asking the public to consider a contribution for general support of the trails, including maintenance and funding of new trail segments.
There will not be an in-person December meeting due to the Christmas holiday.