Trail Committee Approves Donation To Athletic Complex

Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee approved a donation of $5,000 to the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex for a walking trail around the ball diamonds during its regular monthly meeting Monday night. The donation still must be approved by the Syracuse Park Foundation.

Park superintendent Chad Jonsson explained the trail will be 2,600 feet, just 40 feet shy of a 1/2 mile. It will be made using a crushed limestone material and will be handicap accessible. The cost of the walking path is about $9,500. Fundraising for the walking path is underway.

It was also noted the town sidewalk system, also considered part of the trail system, comes into the athletic complex in two places. Jonsson also noted play elements will be placed around the walking path for children. Right now, two climbers, one shaped like a catcher’s mitt and another like a football, are being considered. Benches will also be placed to overlook Turkey Creek.

The committee reviewed upcoming projects for the trails. Thompson Concrete is ready to put the remaining trail down on Eastshore and Northshore drives as soon as the weather breaks. Work will start at the railroad tracks and move northward. Homeowners are still being contacted to make them aware of the project.

Information on installing trail in the Vawter Park area is still being analyzed and a report will be made at next month’s meeting.

A presentation will be made to the Kosciusko County Commissioners Tuesday regarding the SR 13 segment. The county will have to buy into the project since only government entities can apply for grants through the Indiana Department of Transportation. While the county will be the official applicant, the committee will be responsible for raising the funds. There is no set timetable for when there is a call for grant proposals.

“It’s big money. It’s 80 percent of your project and for $2 million that’s a lot of money,” Mike Buhrt said about the possibility of winning an INDOT grant.

Discussion turned to the trail on Eli Lily Road. The committee had been looking at widening the road to widen the trail. Residents on Eli Lily Road have made good suggestions as to an alternative to making the existing trail safer. Erick Leffler, committee member, suggested going behind the utility boxes on one side of the road. Other ideas discussed were to get an estimate on removing the boxes and leaving the trail where it is but widening it, except where a phone box is located.

Leffler reported the Tour de Lakes committee has asked for four volunteers to help with registration during its bike ride July 12. This year there will be a scavenger hunt through the parks and vendors after the event.