Board approves bid for Old Town Lake trail


FERDINAND — The Ferdinand Park Board plans to amp up fundraising efforts for the Old Town Lake Trail project.

At its meeting Wednesday, the park board approved a base bid of $435,100 from Seufert Construction of Ferdinand for the project. The contract covers the creation of a 1-mile trail around the lake, bridge work required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and paving the parking area. The board rejected alternates for the project — including a shelter house and bathrooms — because the base bid came in higher than expected. Now, the board will fundraise to complete the alternates.

“We’re optimistic we’ll be able to do this other stuff,” Park Board President Matt Weyer said.

The cost of the project is covered through a $200,000 matching grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the town has already appropriated the matching funds. The park board plans to fundraise to get the final $35,100 needed for the initial contract, as well as alternates.

Although the board already has some donations, members thought it best to get estimates for the smaller parts of the project before aggressively seeking donations.

“We have numbers,” said board member Dolores Boeglin. “We have what we need now.”

The Old Town Lake has been on the town’s radar since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the town applied for and won the matching grant from the Indiana DNR. The grant requires the parts of the project using grant money — the trail, bridges and parking lot — be completed by September 2020.

After winning the grant, the town partnered with Universal Design of Ferdinand to complete design work and other services needed to get the project started. Weyer and Brett Schipp of Universal Design presented designs for the project in August 2018. Those designs include the 1-mile trail; repurposing the pump house into a shelter house; parking improvements that will include parking for boat trailers; walking bridges across wetland areas and one finger of the lake; and a picnic area. The park board would also like to add a fishing pier and a kayak launch.

For now, however, the board has to settle for only the trail, parking lot and bridges.

The Town Council has final say on accepting the bid and will vote on it at the March meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall, 2065 Main St.

The board also:

• Discussed Anthony Weyer doing an Eagle Scout project as part of the Old Town Lake trail project.

• Discussed raising the rental rates for parks, shelter houses and ball fields. Potentially, renting the Fifth or 18th Street parks would increase to $350, renting a single ball field would increase to $100, and renting a shelter house would increase to $50.

• Approved PMG Tree Care & Landscape of Evansville to complete tree clearing along the trail path at the Old Town Lake for $13,700.

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