The recently formed Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. The county council appointed Democrat Rosemary Rose and Republican Debbie Mix to the five-member panel. The commissioners named Marsha Bedrock as their appointee. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has the remaining two appointments to the board. State law requires him to appoint one Democrat and one Republican. All five initial terms will be staggered. The council appointees will serve for two and four years, the commissioners appointee for two and the judge’s appointees for one and three years. Continue reading
Starke County officials are seeking nominations for volunteers to serve on the county park board. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and the Starke County Council each have two nominations – one Democrat and one Republican. The Starke County Commissioners will select the fifth member. Political affiliation is not a consideration for the commissioners nominee. Continue reading
The future of seasonal camping at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground is in the hands of the five yet-to-be-named Starke County Park Board members. The county commissioners previously announced plans to limit camping to 15 days at a time after this season concludes but have not yet sent a formal notice to manager Richard Callahan and his attorney David Wallsmith. They contend those statements have caused damage to the business, as many campers are uncertain whether they will be able to return next year. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will get their monthly management report for the Bass Lake Beach and Campground when they meet this evening. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith are first on the agenda for tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Starke County Annex Building. The commissioners voted recently to limit camping to 15 days instead of allowing season-long leasing of campsites. Continue reading
The year-round campsite leases at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground run afoul of the guidelines under which the state turned the property over to the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund does not allow for permanent enclosed structures like campers to be placed on public campsites. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis advised Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, that the practice will no longer be allowed. Continue reading
Starke County now has a parks and recreation board. The Starke County Council established the body to oversee amenities like the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational areas. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will have some pointed questions for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, when they meet tonight. They attend the evening meetings each month and give a management report. During the July 7 commissioners meeting, several residents complained about the conditions at the beach and campground over the Independence Day weekend. Continue reading
Starke County Council members want more information about costs associated with setting up a park board before agreeing to do so. Tony Radkiewicz chairs the county park board committee, which was set up to gather information. Their proposed mission statement indicates there will not be a cost to the county to provide oversight to Bass Lake Beach and Campground, the Starke County Forest and other publicly dedicated lands not under municipal control. The board would be comprised of volunteer members with a personal interest in parks and recreation and a desire to be proactive in service to the community. Continue reading
The manager of Bass Lake Beach and Campground assures the Starke County Commissioners the amenities will be ready for business over the Memorial Day weekend.
Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith provided the first of what will be monthly status reports for the properties during last night’s commissioners meeting. Wallsmith says a car hit the fence on the campground side, and the weight of snow tossed by plow trucks damaged the fence on the beach side. Both will need to be replaced with materials that meet current code standards.
The Starke County Commissioners will get their first status report of 2014 from the manager of Bass Lake Beach and Campground when they meet this evening. Richard Callahan has a contract with the county to manage the amenities. He and his attorney, Dave Wallsmith, are first on the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting. Starke County EMS Director Paul Matthewson will also discuss his desire to add a paramedic at the North Judson base to provide better emergency medical response for the county. Other items on the agenda include approval of a uniform contract for the highway department and modification of the county’s nepotism policy to mirror recent changes in state law. County attorney Marty Lucas told the commissioners at their last meeting that the county’s policy is more strict than what the state has on the books. Continue reading
Bass Lake Beach is closed for the season, and overnight camping will not be allowed at the campground during the winter months. That’s the decision of the Starke County Commissioners. Richard Callahan will continue to manage the two attractions. The county council is in the process of establishing a park and recreation board to oversee the management of the beach and campground and other non-municipal parks. For now a study committee chaired by county councilman Tony Radkiewicz and comprised of councilman Marvin McLaughlin, commissioner Kathy Norem and county attorney Marty Lucas will decide how to proceed with setting up that panel.
The Starke County Commissioners will soon meet in an executive session to discuss the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, specifically the question of whether or not the attraction’s current managers are maintaining and operating it appropriately. Richard Callahan and his attorney, Dave Wallsmith, approached the commissioners at their meeting this week to give them a report on how the beach has been doing but the discussion soon led into the question of whether or not the lease should be invalidated.
The Starke County Commissioners are eagerly awaiting the results of the state inspection conducted at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, and according to Commissioner Kathy Norem, those results should be in before their next commissioners meeting, planned for Monday, Aug. 19. She said the campground had previously been cited for a number of sanitary violations but campground management claims they have corrected those. Since then, a number of other violations sprung up, and those, too, are claimed to have been corrected.
The Starke County Commissioners received a report regarding the Bass Lake Beach and Campground during their regular meeting yesterday morning and were informed by County Sanitarian Chris Dalton that all violations that had been found at the business have been addressed and corrected. Dalton presented two inspection reports, one from July 30 and one from the following day; the first report indicated seven violations that needed addressed, while the second report cut that list down to three.
The Starke County Commissioners are meeting this morning with a lengthy agenda that includes a number of departmental reports and other county updates, one of which involves the Bass Lake Beach. Previously, the commissioners discussed the establishment of a county parks and recreation committee to oversee the beach and other non-municipal public parks. Establishment of such a body would be up to the council, and the commissioners sent them a favorable recommendation to do so.
At least one Starke County commissioner would like to see new management at Bass Lake Beach and Campground next year. President Kathy Norem grilled Richard Callahan, who has a lease with the county through 2018 to run the property, at length during Monday’s meeting over the perennial health and safety violations cited by state and local inspectors.
“The hot water doesn’t work, there’s feces in the toilet, there’s sewage leaking here and there, no safety and security equipment, toilets don’t flush…every year, and frankly, sometime you’ve got to say, ‘hello, there’s a problem here,’” said Norem.
The Bass Lake Beach was recently closed by the state sanitarian who said the beach lacked the proper safety emergency devices required for the beach to be in operation. The owners of the beach were given until July 19 to get the issue resolved, but it’s possible the issue has already been taken care of and the beach is in compliance.
Bass Lake resident, Patti Bush, appeared before the Starke County Commissioners yesterday to defend the owners of the Bass Lake Beach and Campground. At the January meeting, there had been some discussion of year-round parking of campers at the campground. The commissioners discussed whether it should be allowed.