Starke County Park Board Reevaluating Five-Year Plan

starke-county-courthouseEfforts to create a five-year plan for Starke County park facilities have hit a bit of an obstacle. The Starke County Park Board had been discussing the possibility of getting a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help pay for the planning process. But to qualify for the grant, the county would have to prove that residents’ incomes fall beneath a certain threshold. Continue reading

Park Board Officials Question Beach and Campground Improvements

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board’s frustrations with Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan are growing. They’ve asked county attorney Marty Lucas to attend their meeting this evening to answer questions about the difference between capital improvements and maintenance. Callahan’s lease with the county allows him to deduct capital improvements from his rent payments. However Park Board President Roger Chaffins recently told the county commissioners none of the work has been permitted or inspected and questioned whether it is safe for the public. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Discusses Beach and Campground Improvements

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board and Rich Callahan, lessor and operator of Starke County’s Bass Lake Beach and Campground, when they met Tuesday night, addressed all the issues before them. They reached agreement on progress, so far, on repair and replacement of certain equipment and/or facilities. Callahan is expected to issue another progress report before the next meeting of the Board on July 21st. Continue reading

Park Board Wants Plan for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Improvements

The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.
The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.

The Starke County Park Board last night voted to draft a letter to the current lessee of the Beach and Campground at Bass Lake setting forth certain repairs and maintenance to safety and health hazards that must be completed within 30 days. The letter will also set forth that a plan of repair and replacement be developed and established for other equipment and buildings. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Developing Property List


The Starke County Park Board is continuing its efforts to develop a list of county properties that have been, or can be, designated as parks to be placed under the authority of the board. The Bass Lake Beach has already been designated as such a property by the county commissioners. The five-member park board has planned an inspection visit to the beach property sometime next month. Continue reading

DNR Official Corrects Statements About Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundA telephone call from WKVI News to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has brought more clarity to the question of whether seasonal campsite leases are allowed at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. Bob Bronson is the section chief for the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. He originally told us camping is limited to two weeks at a time at properties like Bass Lake, which get funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Act. Bronson has since spoken to officials with the National Park Service and learned otherwise.

“There is no policy on the length of how long you can camp. The state has policies and recommendations, but the funding source and Land and Water Conservation Act does not direct how long somebody can stay at a campground,” Bronson told WKVI News late Thursday. Continue reading

Season Wrapping Up at Bass Lake Beach and Campground


Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading

Commissioners Prepare Packets for Park Board Members


The five members of the Starke County Park Board will have plenty of reading material prior to their first meeting. The Starke County Commissioners are sending them welcome packets, which will include copies of the state statute under which the board was formed and the state law pertaining to camping on public properties. One of their first challenges will be to decide whether to allow year-round camping at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. The park board members will also get a copy of the management lease between the county and Richard Callahan. The board is charged with oversight and management of the Starke County Forest and other county-owned public lands.

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