Park Board Suspends Bass Lake Beach Gazebo Demolition Order

bass lake beach-front gateThe gazebo at the Bass Lake Beach may be getting a new lease on life. The Starke County Park Board called for its demolition this past July, due to concerns that the structure was becoming a safety hazard, as well as a lack of funding to make repairs. Since then, however, members of the community have begun fundraising efforts in order to save the gazebo, organizing a raffle earlier this month to help raise money.

It was reported during Tuesday’s park board meeting those residents have gotten estimates for the repair of the structure and have been in contact with County Building Inspector Terry Stephenson. The park board then decided to suspend its demolition order, in order to give residents a chance to develop more formal plans to save the structure.

However, board member Debbie Mix opposed the measure, and wondered why the operator of the beach didn’t remove the structure when asked. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re in breach of contract,” she said. “I mean I hate to tell you that, but that’s my point of view. . . In writing, it was told to come down, and it hasn’t been. It’s been over two months now.”

But Park Board President Roger Chaffins said he’d rather see the gazebo saved, if possible. “I feel that I would like to see that done, after we’d made that motion to take it down,” Chaffins said. And they’re willing to put in the effort on their own expense, not Callahan enterprises but public people are willing to try to save it, other people. I see no problem with that.”

Callahan’s attorney agreed to allow the community members to proceed with the repair effort on the Bass Lake Beach and Campground property. Project organizers were asked to provide written plans for the work by the October park board meeting.