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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Yellow River Pilot Project Reviewed at KRBC Meeting, Followed by Site Visit

An overview of the Yellow River Pilot Project was presented when the Kankakee River Basin Commission met at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center Thursday morning.

Siavash Beik from Christopher B. Burke Engineering presented a summary of the project. The meeting was followed up by a site visit where Beik and his colleague Bob Barr pointed out some of the items that were highlighted during the presentation. Continue reading

Kankakee River Basin Commission Discusses Pros and Cons of Yellow River Pilot Project

A bank stabilization pilot project that was recently conducted on the Yellow River was discussed during last Thursday’s Kankakee River Basin Commission meeting.

Starke County Surveyor Bill Crase said that about 2200 feet of work was completed along both sides of the river. He told commission members that he was very impressed with the results, especially with the way the banks were able to withstand recent flooding.

He said only about 300 feet of damage was incurred and suspected that was likely from floating debris striking the spot rather than structural inefficiencies. However, there were certain issues with the way that the project that kept Crase from considering it a complete success. Continue reading

Starke County Surveyor Thanks Local Farmers For Stepping Up to Help Out With Flood Response

According to Starke County Surveyor Bill Crase, four breached levees in the Starke County and La Porte County areas have recently been fixed, while work on one site is being postponed due to the current levels of the Kankakee River.

Surveyor Crase explained that while working on the final section of a levee, workers realized that the river wasn’t dropping. He said if they sealed it up, the pressure would have caused the water to burst out elsewhere so they weren’t able to fix it just yet. While they have slowed the breach down a bit, Crase said crews continue to monitor the spot and are waiting for the river to drop before patching it up any further. Continue reading

Starke County Council Creates Fund for Park Donations

You can now make a donation to the Starke County Park Board. While the park board oversees a few different facilities, including the Bass Lake Beach and Campground and the Starke County Forest, it does not have a dedicated funding source from the county government. However, the county council last week created a “special non-reverting park and recreation fund,” designed to let the park board accept “gifts, donations, and subsidies.”

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Bid for Emergency Bridge Repair Comes in Over Budget

The lone bid to replace this bridge over the Yellow River on 700 East came in significantly over budget.
The lone bid to replace this bridge over the Yellow River on 700 East came in significantly over budget.

The lone bid to fix the bridge on Starke County Road 700 East over the Yellow River came in significantly higher than county officials had anticipated. LaPorte Construction bid $106,872 for the emergency repair. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says that figure is between $50,000 and $60,000 more than he had budgeted for the work. As a result, repairs that were to begin today and be finished by Aug. 15 have been delayed indefinitely. Continue reading