Starke County Forest Access Improvement Work to Begin Soon

Work is expected to start soon on a new road and parking lot at the Starke County Forest. County Attorney Marty Lucas says an update on the project was given to the Starke County Park Board this week. “The project was delayed a little bit due to the flooding has kept Highway Superintendent [Rik] Ritzler very busy,” Lucas says, “and we hope to get that moving in the next few days.”

Continue reading

Starke County Park Board to Decide on Rent Increase for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Operator

The Starke County Park Board is looking to raise the rent on the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, but how exactly that will take place still has to be determined. Callahan Development, LLC’s lease on the property was discussed during Tuesday’s park board meeting. While the original 10-year lease period is up at the end of the month, the company has exercised an option to renew it for another 10 years.

Continue reading

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum May Consider Leasing Erie Trail to Starke County

 

Bringing the North Judson Erie Trail under Starke County’s control is something the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum might be willing to consider. The museum owns the trail, but Starke County’s five-year park plan suggests that the county lease it and operate it as a park facility. Starke County Park Board President Roger Chaffins said Tuesday that he spoke with the museum’s president, Cory Bennett, and Bennett seemed open to resuming discussions.

Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Presents $20,000 in Grants to Starke County Park Board

The Starke County Forest will get $15,000 worth of improvements this spring, thanks to a grant from the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund. The funding was formally presented to the Starke County Park Board Tuesday by Starke County Community Foundation Director of Development Sarah Origer and Northern Indiana Community Foundation Executive Director Jay Albright.

Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Continues to Discuss Erie Trail Lease with Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

The Prairie Trails Club says it’s ready to make improvements to the North Judson Erie Trail, but it might be easier to do if Starke County were formally involved. The trail is owned by the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, but Starke County’s five-year park plan suggests that the county lease it and operate it as a park facility.

Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Still Waiting for Concrete Repairs at Bass Lake Beach

A lack of action on concrete repairs at the Bass Lake Beach is drawing concerns from some Starke County Park Board members. Back in August, board members asked the operator of the facility, Callahan Development, LLC, to repair the seawall surrounding the beach house patio and install glacial stone to help protect it from incoming waves.

Continue reading

Bass Lake Beach Gate House Replacement Discussed by Starke County Park Board

The Starke County Park Board is moving forward with the replacement of the gate house at the Bass Lake Beach. The structure was seriously damaged when a pickup truck reportedly crashed into it back in November. Starke County Building Inspector Terry Stephenson believes the accident, along with wood rot and the settling of concrete, has left the building unsafe.

Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Considers Splitting Up Bass Lake Beach and Campground Operations

Potential changes to the Bass Lake Beach and campground’s operations were discussed by the Starke County Park Board Tuesday. Operator Callahan Development, LLC plans to extend its lease with the county through April of 2028. But the company said it’s willing to consider turning over the less profitable areas of the facility back to the county, while it would continue to run the campground and pier slots.

Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Looking to Replace Bass Lake Beach Gatehouse, Following Accident

The Starke County Park Board may be looking at replacing one of the structures at the Bass Lake Beach, after it was seriously damaged in an accident last month. Park board member Roger Chaffins explains that a pickup truck apparently backed itself into the gatehouse, “The guy was deer hunting over there, had a new vehicle, didn’t realize that he didn’t have it fully in park, and the vehicle ran over him and then ran into the building.”

Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Consider First Reading on UTV Ordinance

Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas presented the commissioners with a proposed ordinance that would authorize and regulate the use of Recreational Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs or side-by-sides) and Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) on certain county roads and highways.

The Starke County highway superintendent has the authority to restrict the passage of these vehicles on certain roads at his discretion for safety purposes. Proper signage will be displayed. Continue reading