Starke County Park Board Denies Rent Credit for Bass Lake Campground Electrical Upgrades

Starke County will not help the operator of the Bass Lake Campground with the cost of electrical upgrades. After six months of discussion, the county park board voted Tuesday to deny a request to deduct the $7,800 cost from the operator’s rent payment. The project would have increased the electrical capacity in the back half of the campground, to accommodate newer RVs.

During Tuesday’s meeting, newly-appointed board member Kathy Norem said that if the operator wants to make the upgrades, he should fund them himself. “I don’t know any other county or whatever that pays a private business – and that’s what he is, is a private business – to make improvements, so he can enrich himself,” she said.

On the other hand, Board President Richard Ballard pointed out that the property is still owned by the county, and any improvements would eventually go back to the county once the lease ends. But Norem noted that the upgrades weren’t part of any of the plans the county has completed in recent years.

Meanwhile, Board Member Rik Ritzler said he and Auditor Rachel Oesterreich have come up with an updated figure of what Callahan Development, LLC actually owes the county. It appears that its previous credits have been used up, and taking this year’s $5,400 rent into account, Callahan now owes the county $3,917.50.