The future of seasonal camping at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground is in the hands of the five yet-to-be-named Starke County Park Board members. The county commissioners previously announced plans to limit camping to 15 days at a time after this season concludes but have not yet sent a formal notice to manager Richard Callahan and his attorney David Wallsmith. They contend those statements have caused damage to the business, as many campers are uncertain whether they will be able to return next year.
Commissioner Kathy Norem repeatedly stated during last night’s tense discussion about the amenities that the establishment of a park board is a “game changer.” That statement didn’t stop several seasonal campers from Porter and LaPorte Counties from expressing their support for the practice to continue. They pointed out how much cash they pump into the Starke County economy during the summer months by shopping and dining locally. Norem told them all their comments were “duly noted.” Fellow Commissioner Kent Danford added he gets tired of getting telephone calls complaining about the conditions at the beach and campground. The Starke County Council and Commissioners plan to discuss park board appointments during a joint meeting in September. The council and Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall each have two appointments – one Democrat and one Republican, and the commissioners have one. All prospective park board members must reside in Starke County. Norem is finalizing the criteria for the appointments now. As soon as it is available, we will share it on the air and on our website.
If you would like to hear the discussion from the commissioners’ meeting in its entirety, it will air Sunday, Aug. 24 at 12 p.m. CDT on Kankakee Valley Viewpoints on WKVI-FM.