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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Starke County Highway Superintendent Updates Commissioners on Winter Operations

During the first meeting of the Starke County Commissioners to open 2019, Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler reported light winter operations due to the lack of snow.  Ritzler said the picture changed drastically after that report and the information was completely opposite in his most recent update.    

“The mild weather in December – as you know we reported last month we saved about $78,000 in snow and ice removal.  If you look at the comparison in 2018 and 2019 in January, we went $68,000 more this month.  It really highlights how our budget has to be flexible and weather really dictates our spending. I couldn’t highlight that more than in the last two months.”

Ritzler noted that crews worked 26 days in a row, but found relief this past weekend with warmer temperatures. 

In an asset management chart compiled by the new Asset Manager with notes submitted by Ritzler, new drivers improved and the wet snow proved to be hard on the mailboxes.  On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the subzero temperatures caused precautions to keep trucks operating as drifts formed from winds.  The overall performance and attitude of the drivers was rated as excellent.

Crews continue to maintain equipment in between storms and monitor roads with snow melt and rainfall. 

The commissioners expressed their appreciation to the highway department and all emergency services for their efforts during the inclement weather experienced in January.