Old Town Lake plans include trail, shelter house

Graphics courtesy Town of Ferdinand
Designs for the 1-mile walking trail, open-air shelter house and bathrooms around Ferdinand's Old Town Lake near Monastery Immaculate Conception were presented at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.


FERDINAND — The people of Ferdinand will have a new trail around Old Town Lake by 2020 if everything goes according to plan.

Park Board President Matt Weyer and Brett Schipp of Universal Design presented the designs for the 1-mile walking trail, open-air shelter house and bathrooms around the lake located on East 14th Street near Monastery Immaculate Conception at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting. Following the presentation, the council approved the project to go to bid.

“It’s a spot that was ignored for years,” Weyer said. “We hope it has a renewed purpose.”

Improvements to the lake area have been on the town’s radar since the 1990s, but the project picked up speed in 2016 when the parks department applied for a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund. The project was awarded a $200,000 matching grant, which means the town must also come up with $200,000 for the project. That $200,000 can be from financial appropriations, donations or in-kind contributions of labor, materials or equipment. Part of the in-kind contributions will be reclaimed asphalt from the 23rd Street project currently underway. The asphalt will be ground down and used to construct at least part of the 1-mile trail.

“I think that’s a pretty cool aspect of this project,” Schipp said.

The design also calls for the old pump house to be repurposed into a shelter house, parking improvements that will include parking for boat trailers, walking bridges across wetlands 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. Weyer said the board will seek donations for those projects.

The base bid, which is the most basic version of the project, calls for paving in the parking lot and around the shelter house and bathrooms. The trail itself will be gravel, under the base bid. Alternatives for the project include paving part or all of the trail.

A rough timeline for the project has work beginning later this year, with the bulk of the work completed in 2019 for a spring or summer 2020 completion.

To qualify the grant money, Weyer said, the project must be completed by Sept. 30, 2020, three years after the funds were awarded. He’s confident the project will be done before the deadline.

Additional graphic renderings of the improvements to the lake are below.

View the entire presentation from last night's meeting here: Old Town Lake.pdf








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