Starke County Highway Department to Help with County Park Projects

The Starke County Park Board has been coordinating with the Starke County Highway Department about some upcoming projects, but Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said he needed the commissioners’ permission to move forward in doing the projects.

He explained that the work is technically outside the pervue of the highway department.

The Starke County Park Board received a grant to install glacial stone as a wave blocker in front of the clubhouse at the beach. The park board asked the highway department to do the work.

Also, the highway department is anticipated to help the park board with delivery and deposit of sand at the Koontz Lake Beach, along with the installation and maintenance of the guardrail at the beach. Commissioner Kathy Norem noted that any future sand purchases will be done by the park board and not the county.

A new county road will be constructed in the Starke County Forest with paving to be done by the highway department. Ritzler said will he will complete specifications and give them to Territorial Engineering. Once those plans are done the road may be constructed. Ritzler said the road will need to be officially accepted by the county to be maintained by the county.

Finally, the Prairie Trails Group will be ordering signs through a company utilized by the highway department. The county will donate the time and labor for the installation of the signs plus the roadway approaches for the trails.

Ritzler noted that these projects will not interrupt the normal paving operations this summer. If the work can be done within the next three weeks, then the projects could be worked in rather quickly.

The commissioners unanimously pre-approved the work to be done, pending a timeline of grant projects and zoning paperwork.