Change in State Regulations Creates Challenges for Bass Lake Beach Erosion Prevention Efforts

Efforts to prevent erosion in the Bass Lake Beach area have hit a funding snag. The Starke County Park Board has obtained glacial stone, and the county commissioners agreed to let the Highway Department install it.

But during Tuesday’s park board meeting, board member and highway superintendent Rik Ritzler said a change in state regulations means that installation can’t continue as planned. “The rules have changed on January 1, and now we cannot pay for anything outside of the county right of way with [Motor Vehicle Highway] funds,” he explained. “Anything out of that has to be from a different fund.”

Ritzler said the commissioners have asked the park board to cover the cost of Highway Department employees’ labor, which he estimates would amount to between $2,500 and $3,500. The problem is that the park board only has a little more than $1,300.

In the end, the park board agreed to contribute $1,000, and ask the commissioners to look into other funding sources for the rest.