By Phoebe Muthart
Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee heard updates on the new Conklin Bay boardwalk and SR 13 trail project at its meeting Monday, Oct. 28.
Two of the contractors working on the current project attended the meeting. Christian Baybutt from Selge Construction and George Trueblood of Earth Source Inc. were at Monday night’s meeting.
They gave the committee an update and discussed some of the current issues with the project. A boardwalk and a trail along SR 13, near the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, are currently being constructed.
“Trail construction is moving right along,” said Trueblood.
There have been some issues, however, he said. Large chunks of concrete were found along SR 13 and, he said, “We had to remove all of that.” Trueblood said “some unsuitable soils” were found near the WACF property.
“To date, we have hauled off a total of 16 loads of soils with concrete and rebar and 23 loads of top soil,” said Baybutt.
Among the issues discussed are first, whether to make the driveway entrance cement, instead of asphalt. A parking area also needs to be determined.
Second, there is a water issue along SR 13. Both of the contractors noted both the driveway and the water issues are being resolved and they aren’t much of a problem.
“Nonetheless, they aren’t much of a headache and the issues are being worked out,” Baybutt noted.
Construction costs were also discussed. To install the boardwalk would likely cost around $387,000, based only on the cost of the other sections, said Baybutt.
“Installing boardwalk for 300 feet would cost roughly $232,320,” Baybutt noted. “If we decide to go this route, I will put an exact quote together.”
Baybutt said he is willing to work with the committee on expenses and on the budget, as to be in good faith.
Committee member Robert Smith, who is overseeing the Conklin Bay project, said he is very happy with the new project so far.
“We are doing well and making incredible progress,” said Smith, adding the project may possibly be done by the end of this year.
In other news, the committee discussed future projects. Some people who live in Syracuse are requesting a trail near their homes, said Smith. He asked if two grants would help with future projects, to which Kay Young, chairman, said yes.
Dr. Tom Edington gave the treasurer’s report for September. Donations totaled $6,250 and there were three donations in September. The expenses totaled $2,181.95. One of the expenses was fixing the boardwalk near Pickwick Drive; the cost was $1,360.95.
The board is also in the process of hiring a new executive director. Applications are currently being reviewed for the position.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.