Efforts Continue to Add Kayak, Canoe Access Points to Yellow River

Yellow River

Starke County officials are confident that kayak and canoe access points will soon be coming to the Yellow River. During a recent Starke County Park Board meeting, board member Rik Ritzler said river access would likely be one of the first projects, if the Constellation of Starke region is designated a Stellar Community, according to County Attorney Marty Lucas.

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Stellar Planning Process Could Address Submerged Lifeguard Tower in Bass Lake

A longtime hazard in Bass Lake could finally be resolved as part of the planning process for Constellation of Starke’s Stellar efforts. A structure, believed to be an old lifeguard tower, that’s now submerged in the lake has repeatedly been discussed by the Starke County Park Board over the past few years. So far, they haven’t been able to find a way to remove it, and there have been doubts as to whether it’s the park board’s responsibility, anyway.

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Starke County Park Board Suggests Having Engineer Analyze Bass Lake Beach House Patio

After a six month break between meetings, the Starke County Park Board has picked up its discussion on the Bass Lake Beach House patio. On Tuesday, board members directed the facility’s manager, Larry Clarich, to get quotes for what it would cost to have an engineer visit the site, while making short-term repairs in the meantime.

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Starke County Park Board Chooses New President

The Starke County Park Board welcomed two new members Tuesday. Attorney Richard Ballard was appointed to the board by Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, following the resignation of Roger Chaffins. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler had been appointed by the county council back in January, replacing Debbie Mix. Ballard and Ritzler both took their seats on the park board for the first time Tuesday, during the board’s first official meeting since last September.

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UPDATED: Starke County Park Board Meeting Canceled

Update: Tonight’s Starke County Park Board meeting has been canceled due to weather. The next regularly-scheduled meeting is Tuesday, March 12.

The Starke County Park Board will meet tonight for the first time in more than five months. It will be the first meeting for new member Rik Ritzler, who was appointed by the county council last month. Ritzler previously worked with the park board on various projects, in his capacity as county highway superintendent.

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Potential Funding Available for Repairing Flood Damaged Roads in Starke County

Several roads around Starke County have spent many days underwater due to the recent floods. This extended exposure to saturation will most likely result in many sections of roadway needing previously unplanned repairs.

On Sunday, Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler took county and state officials on a tour of the area to highlight some of the spots that were hit the hardest by flood waters.

He explained that once the waters recede enough, crews will be conducting thorough assessments around the county to see where work will need to be done. Continue reading

Wednesday Travel Alerts and Road Closures in Pulaski and Starke Counties

Though the rain has stopped for now, there are still several roads in Starke and Pulaski Counties that are closed due to flooding and high water.

Starke County High Way Superintendent Rik Ritzler warns drivers that it is imperative to refrain from driving down the flooded area of a roadway. He said those roads are closed for a reason, and if you get stuck your rescue could divert resources that may be needed elsewhere.

He added that Starke County is on an orange “Watch” level travel alert due to flooding. He explained that a “Watch” means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. Continue reading

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Hosts U.S. 30 Upgrade Committee Meeting

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation hosted a meeting last night with various members of the Starke County community who would be impacted by the proposed U.S. 30 Freeway Project.

SCEDF Executive Director Charles Weaver began the meeting and introduced representatives from Appian , a consulting firm that is working with the foundation. President of the organization, Dennis Faulkenberg started by saying that though the project is still very far down the line, they wanted to hear some of the ideas that were circulating within the community.

Faulkenberg advised everyone present that it is imperative to collect data and come up with a concrete plan prior to approaching INDOT. He said that’s the best way to avoid being pressured into doing the most cost effective option at the expense of what is best for the community. Continue reading