By Phoebe Muthart
The proposed Syracuse-Webster Road trail was discussed at the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee meeting Monday, June 19.
Megan McClellan, executive director, and Ben Plikerd, owner of Brook Pointe Inn, talked to the Kosciusko County Highway Department about permitting for the trail along the west side of the road. The county wants the plans to meet Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices standards.
Dr. Tom Edington said a connecting trail has already started between two schools, Wawasee High School and the new Syracuse Elementary School, on Kern Road. He said $100,000 has been allocated toward this section of the trail.
“We want this route to be safe,” he said, adding another $100,000 will be used for a walking trail, along Kern Road to Kern
Crossing, and funded by the Wawasee school corporation.
McClellan suggested two businesses for the preliminary design work along Syracuse-Webster Road. One was from Commonwealth Engineers and the other suggestion was from Earth Source. The committee voted to use Commonwealth Engineers.
Edington gave the treasurer’s report. There were donations totaling $9,335.08 and $5,677.87 in expenses in May.
“We had more donations than normal,” he said.
The Conkin Bay boardwalk trail project was discussed. McClellan and Dan Ernst of Earth Source presented to Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s center committee. Everything seems to be in place and once the final changes are made to the trail location on WACF’s property an easement between WACF and the park foundation will need to be completed. The committee talked about fundraising for this section of the trail and the capital campaign to fund the $1.7 million project. McClellan said a committee needs to be formed for the campaign.
Flooding at the curve where Warner Road becomes Eli Lilly Road was noted. The flooding is caused mainly because the county highway department removed the drain from there 12 years ago. The department is interested in installing a new 10-foot drain from the corner to the grass lot to the west. Though not strictly necessary, they would like to ask the landowner’s permission and asked MClellan to see if there was anyone with contacts to the family. So far, she’s had no luck. There was a suggestion to raise the trail when the highway department installs the drain since they will already have to remove and replace several sections of trail.
Pulver will start work on the SR 13 and Pickwick Drive crossing sometime next month. Pulver’s work has been delayed due to weather, but should start after the Fourth of July holiday.
Two signs were removed from the trail and given to Kay Young, chairman. The committee will find where the signs go and replace them. One is a “no motorized vehicles” sign. McClellan had several trail users request that she install more of these to try to deter golf carts from using the trail.
Several events are planned for the next few months. Tour des Lakes starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Syracuse Community Center. There are over 155 people registered, so far.
The Oakwood Car Show, a trail fundraiser, is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6.
A concert fundraiser for the trails is at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at Southshore Golf Course.
A Fine Art’s Festival is Saturday, Aug. 26, at Oakwood.
Volunteer of the Month is Sam Leman.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, July 17, at the trail office.