Park Board Officials Question Beach and Campground Improvements

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board’s frustrations with Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan are growing. They’ve asked county attorney Marty Lucas to attend their meeting this evening to answer questions about the difference between capital improvements and maintenance. Callahan’s lease with the county allows him to deduct capital improvements from his rent payments. However Park Board President Roger Chaffins recently told the county commissioners none of the work has been permitted or inspected and questioned whether it is safe for the public.

He says the park board wants to approve capital improvements before the work is done. He says capital improvements are permanent additions to the site, like a new building, and not hauling in more sand for the beach. Likewise, Chaffins says the recent upgrade from 30 to 50 amp electrical service at the campground to draw in larger campers is not a capital improvement.

He adds the county needs to protect its interests.

“Those electric things he put in, if somebody was to get shocked or electrocuted out there, they’re going to come back and sue the county. He’s going to sit back and laugh because it’s not his problem. It’s the county’s problem, and I don’t feel comfortable with that.”

The Starke County Park Board meets tonight at 6 p.m. in the annex building meeting room.