By Phoebe Muthart
Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee discussed a new project and the possibility of bike rentals at the Monday evening, Nov. 27, meeting.
A new trail is being proposed along Syracuse-Webster Road. Commonwealth Engineers has completed the engineering designs for the proposed trail along the west side of a portion of Syracuse-Webster Road. The company has submitted the designs to the Kosciusko County Highway Department for approval.
Permitting of the drainage plan is still necessary. Nearby property owners will be notified of the plans prior to any construction. A community meeting for the public is expected sometime early next year.
“We are waiting to hear from the county whether it’s permissible or not,” said Trails’ Executive Director Megan McClellan of the proposed mile-long trail.
The possibility of bike rentals was discussed. There was preliminary discussion on three different bike rental options. These include Zagster, a bike share program, or a local business that rents bikes; the third option is a new bike shop in North Webster.
The committee would like to provide the bikes for riders to use along the trail system.
There are currently 20 bikes available in the Warsaw/Winona Lake area.
“We could be in the same network,” said Dr. Erick Leffler, a committee member. Leffler and McClellan are going to talk to Rob Parker, president and CEO of Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, about the plans.
Leffler noted the bike rentals would help maintain the trail system. Several locations for the bike rentals were discussed, but a decision has yet to be made.
Upcoming events were discussed. A weekly walk and yoga session start at 9:45 a.m. every Thursday at Syracuse Public Library.
The Winter Warm-Up 5K is from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at Schrock Athletic Complex, Syracuse. This year, chip timed is being used. Each runner will wear a chip that will calculate their time. The grant to pay for the chip timing is from the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Commission.
Two grand-prize winners will win an overnight stay at Oakwood Resort. Additional prize packages are planned for other winners.
Tour des Lakes is scheduled for Saturday, July 14. So far, 20 people have registered for the bike ride, a major fundraiser for the trails.
“Tour des Lakes is gaining notoriety,” said McClellan. The next Tour Des Lakes meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 22. To register for the July 14 bike ride, visit www.tourdeslakes.com.
Dr. Tom Edington gave the October treasurer’s report. Donations totaled $45,107 and expenses totaled $45,534.
Volunteer of the Month is Carter Bowman, an Eagle Scout, who is installing mileage markers along the trail around Syracuse Lake.
New committee members are needed. If interested in joining, contact McClellan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McClellan was given permission to attend an Indiana Park and Recreation Association Conference Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 in Fort Wayne. The cost is $310 for members.
Next meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29. There will not be a meeting in December.