Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee met Monday night and discussed the Eli Lilly Road trail widening project.
The committee has received a couple of donations for the widening project, including one for $1,000.
“We have a long way to go,” said Executive Director Megan McClellan.
So far, $1,600 in donations have been received. It will cost $500 to $600 to do a survey. The committee agreed to use the donations to fund that survey.
“We need a more recent estimate on the project, too,” said McClellan.
Next, it discussed trailhead funding. Boy Scouts have agreed to do the project and funding will come from the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor’s Bureau. The committee agreed to allow McClellan to buy the necessary supplies. The Scouts will build two kiosks and six signs, and two bike racks will be added.
The Conklin Bay project was discussed. McClellan said she is working on grants; NIPSCO and the Dekko Foundation are two sources.
“I will continue to apply for grants,” she said. “If we get enough grants, we can use them for other projects.” Some grants will not be available until fall.
The committee has budgeted up to $25,000 for the wetland delineation project. Funds are coming from the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor’s Bureau.
“I want to keep this moving,” she said.
“It’s the most extensive trail we will be looking at,” added Dr. Tom Edington, committee chairman.
McClellan suggested a summer fundraising drive for the project. She suggested sending letters to people who have already donated. The committee agreed and approximately 100 to 150 donor letters will be sent out.
The Harkless Drive trail project is complete except for signage. The committee had budgeted $25,000 for the project, however the cost was under budget at $18,917. The remaining money will be put back into the general fund.
Trail counts, per day, were tallied. Actual usage was 225 people in two hours. The weekend was the most used time and the most used section is near the community center.
The extrapolated number of users during the weekday was between 191 to 203. The extrapolated number of users on the weekend was 868. Another count is scheduled for mid-July.
More committee members are needed. Members are needed for the events, outreach and communications and development (fundraising) commitees.
Signage was discussed. New signs need to be ordered for Harkless Drive and the trailheads. The committee discussed using signs as fundraisers near the Conklin Bay portion of the trail.
Several events in Syracuse are being planned that the committee