Starke County Park Board May Apply for Grant Funds to Help Prevent Bass Lake Shoreline Erosion

The Starke County Park Board may consider applying for grant funding to help prevent erosion at the Bass Lake shoreline. Board member Debbie Mix and a small group of local residents recently met with representatives from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to get some ideas.

“What they would be doing is shoring it up with rock and then making sure that you have plantings in there of native plants,” Mid explained during Tuesday’s park board meeting, “because there’s one tree that’s dead. There’s no saving it. But if there’s just certain edges of the shoreline that can be fixed – there’s a whole lot that needs to be done. However, if you go 300 feet and more, there goes into a much higher level of permitting. The Army Corps of Engineers gets involved. It gets really big.”

The idea is to do the work along a 299-foot section of the county’s Bass Lake Beach property, although not in the actual beach itself. The estimated cost is about $10,000. To help with that cost, Mix suggested that the park board may consider applying for a Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership Grant. “When we look at what we paid for the glacial stone and with the Highway Department being able to bring some stuff in, that’s all in-kind, that literally is money that we don’t have to provide,” she said. “We’re providing the labor for that, for in-kind money.”

The grant application is due October 15. It’s hoped that the county’s efforts would encourage other property owners around Bass Lake to make similar improvements. “They have a list of 41 homeowners that are interested in doing this shoring up,” Mix said. “But they need to know more information, they kind of what to know what it looks like, that kind of thing.”

County Attorney Marty Lucas once again suggested that the project be included in Starke County’s Stellar Community discussions. “That seems like it’s a good fit for that, and that’s the kind of thing that has been successful in the past,” he said. “I think having improvements to make Bass Lake kind of work a little bit better with Lake Maxinkuckee is the kind of thing that they’re going to appreciate. So I really think that that project shows promise in that regard.”

County Auditor Kay Chaffins agreed to do some more research on the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership Grant, before the park board’s October meeting.