Starke County Commissioners Discuss Bass Lake Campground

Starke County Commissioners: Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

The Starke County Commissioners discussed the status of the Bass Lake Campground during last night’s meeting. It’s come to the commissioners’ attention that 28 of the 56 campsites are rented year-round. In the course of the conversation, it was stated that when the state of Indiana ran the campground you could only rent a space for two weeks and then you had to vacate to give others a chance at the sites.  At the end of the season, all of the campers had to be moved off the campsite.

With 28 sites rented year-round, there is a question of whether or not this property is a campground or a trailer park.

County Attorney, Martin Lucas, was asked if the definition of the lease has changed if people are allowed to rent sites year-round.

“I’m going to say the argument is that it does fundamentally change,” said Lucas. “My reading of the lease, it wasn’t yesterday but I’ve read it a few times, was that it anticipated substantially a continuation of the same use. Now, obviously that doesn’t mean that you can’t make some changes so there’s room to debate the point. I do think that there’s some traction to the argument that that’s a substantial change in use.”

Lucas said this might be the trend in campgrounds.

“There’s two sides to this. One is that this is a substantial change and you can argue that change that is essentially a new trailer park. The other counter argument is that more people are staying here and that’s the trend in these kinds of places. It’s for people to stay year-round and it’s still a campground.”

The two commissioners present last night, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis, wanted it to remain a campground and not slowly become a trailer park like Rannells Park.

Commissioner Bridegroom said he would discuss the matter with the people leasing the campground.