By Phoebe Muthart
A new trail along Syracuse-Webster Road was discussed at the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee meeting Monday evening, Sept. 18.
Megan McClellan, executive director, said she has received mostly positive comments about the proposed trail.
The new section of the trail will be located along the west side of the road. It is being considered for safety reasons. It will connect Wawasee High School and the new Syracuse Elementary School to several subdivisions in the area and eventually continue to Brook Pointe Inn.
Commonwealth Engineers is still awaiting the topographical survey. McClellan noted while the topographical survey has not been completed yet, survey flags have been placed around the area where the trail could run.
McClellan noted she had not sent letters to property owners yet, since there was still so much uncertainty about the details of the trail. Wawasee Community School Corp. has already set aside funds for the project. A public meeting will be held before any construction begins.
The Conklin Bay project was also mentioned. The Conklin Bay boardwalk design is almost complete. Earth Source is essentially complete with the construction documents, having made the last revisions to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation entrance and a few boardwalk changes and railing details. An easement between WACF and the Syracuse Park Foundation still needs to be completed.
Several mileage markers will be installed along the Syracuse Lake trail and will cost $11 each. Carter Bowman, an Eagle Scout who is doing the project, has not yet gotten a completed budget. When McClellan receives this, she will send it to the board.
New tools and storage issues were noted. A new weed whacker and pole saw are needed, but the board decided to wait until spring to purchase the items.
Volunteer of the Month is Dr. Tom Edington. He was chosen because of his help with maintenance and for being the treasurer.
Edington gave the treasurer’s report. Expenses for August totaled $8,895.28 and $4,901 came from donations. Donations included $3,000 from Wawasee Property Owners Association for the Conklin Bay construction.
“As of August, all budgeted expenses look good,” said McClellan. “Available funds have increased each month.”
McClellan presented five grants, which she will be applying for by the end of the year. One grant is from the Harkless Foundation, while another grant could come from the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission. A Destination Development Grant will need to be matched dollar-for-dollar, but can be matched by other foundations.
Upcoming events were also discussed. The weekly trail walks, followed by chair yoga at the library, have been very successful with six to eight people participating every week. The walks are from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. every Thursday until Sept. 28.
A Tour des Lakes planning meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at the trail’s office. A fall festival is Saturday, Oct. 21, at Brook Pointe Inn.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. Oct. 16, at the trail’s office, 801 N. Huntington St., Syracuse.