Starke County Park Board Approves Reimbursement for Bass Lake Campground Electrical Work

Starke County will apparently cover the cost of last summer’s electrical work at the Bass Lake Campground. Last week, the Starke County Park Board agreed to reimburse the lessee, Callahan Development, LLC, for the bill of about $3,500, according to County Attorney Marty Lucas.

He says board members had reviewed meeting minutes from last year, and determined that the expenditure had been approved as a capital improvement. While Callahan is supposed to cover all maintenance costs, capital improvements may be reimbursed by the county, typically as a deduction in Callahan’s rent payment. Lucas says board members discussed the distinction between capital improvements and ordinary maintenance, as well as whether the original installation was deficient and possibly under warranty.

But the issue also led to larger questions about the campground’s operations. The park board questioned whether the need for more capacity was due to an increase in long-term rentals, according to Lucas, and if those fell under the lease’s definition of “camping.”

Lucas says the park board agreed to notify Callahan of its concerns with the number of long-term rentals, and also to remind the lessee that any proposed capital project must be approved ahead of time, with estimates from at least two qualified contractors.