Starke County Park Board Considers Bill for Bass Lake Campground Electrical Work

As the Starke County Park Board monitors improvements at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, what qualifies as a capital improvement and what should be considered normal maintenance continues to be discussed.

While the facility’s operator, Callahan Development, LLC, is supposed to cover all maintenance costs, capital improvements are covered by the county as a deduction in Callahan’s rent payment. During Tuesday’s meeting, Manager Larry Clarich presented a bill from Warner’s Electric for about $3,800, for work done at the campground last July.

“The campground’s never had as many people in there as it had last year, and due to that, there were 250-amp circuit breakers and they were popping, quite often,” Clarich explained. “When Warner went in there, he said, ‘Yeah, we could upgrade that to 350.’ So those were upgraded to 350-amp circuit breakers, and the result, so far, has been no issues after we’ve had the upgrade.” Clarich said some wiring issues also had to be fixed.

But former board member Debbie Mix urged the new members not to make a decision until they’ve reviewed the definition of “capital improvement” that she says the board previously agreed upon. County Attorney Marty Lucas explained that, normally, any proposed capital project should be approved by the board before work begins. Clarich said he believed the board had done that.

Since the discussion took place several months ago, board members said they wanted to review the board’s previous decision, before deciding whether the county should cover the cost of the electrical work.