September 21

Starke County Park Board-August 10, 2021 Minutes

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Present: Richard Ballard, Kathy Norem, Rik Ritzler, Chris Lawrence, Karl Swihart, Attorney Lucas

  1. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Ballard at 6:01 p.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

DISCUSSION

  • Kathy Norem made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 2021 meeting. Rik Ritzler seconded. PASSED.
  • Kathy Norem read the current financial report for the Park Board.
  • Debbie Mix spoke with the Park Board regarding a membership grant to the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association. She gave information on the association and what they offer. Chris Lawrence made a motion to join the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association. Rik Ritzler seconded. PASSED.
  • Debbie Mix also spoke to the Park Board and Bruce Wakeland regarding having a pet parade in September. Kathy Norem made a motion to approve a pet parade at the Starke County Forest. Chris Lawrence seconded. PASSED.
  • Rik Ritzler gave an update on the installation of the Starke County Forest signs. Ritzler let the board know that he would be going to the Commissioners to get it approved to finish working on those signs.
  • Bob Harper gave an update on the electrical work that has previously been done at the Bass Lake Campground. Mr. Harper informed the board that the work out there is older and there are currently 3 services for electrical. He gave an estimate of how much it would cost to update electrical services at the campground over a 10 to 20 year time span. Kathy Norem and Rik Ritzler both hope the county could apply for a grant opportunity to help with the electric upgrades.
  • Mr. Ritzler spoke regarding the inventory report he compiled for the Bass Lake Beach and Campground. Mr. Ritzler believes the main thing in getting the inventory done is hiring a park superintendent to handle the day to day problems and what needs to be done at the beach. Ritzler explained that their first task on the job will be to do in initially and see what needs to be done and make recommendations to the board. Kathy Norem discussed with the board a timeline on hiring a superintendent.
  • Mrs. Norem spoke regarding camper payments and signed leases. Mrs. Norem informed the board that at the time of the meeting, numerous campers were delinquent on payments for campsite rentals. Mrs. Norem believed that the board should send letters to delinquent campers about paying their second installment on their campsite rental. Mr. Lawrence suggested sending leases out to campers as well to get those signed and returned. Mrs. Norem made a motion to send a letter to delinquent campers to pay their second installment within two weeks. Mr. Ritzler seconded that motion. PASSED.
  1. Mr. Ritzler spoke regarding campers at the Bass Lake Campground leaving their campers at the site during the off season. Mr. Ritzler wanted to make the board aware that he had been contacted by a handful of people wanting to know if they can leave their campers at their sites on the off season.  After much discussion, the motion was made by Chris Lawrence to table the decision on campers being moved offsite during off season. Mrs. Norem seconded. PASSED.
  • Mr. Ritzler made a motion that the closing date of September 20, 2021 on the camper lease was only for the bathroom on the beach side. The facilities on the campground side would remain open until the end of the season. Mrs. Norem seconded. PASSED.
  • Attorney Lucas gave an update on the park board’s Facebook page. Mr. Lucas stated he was not able to get the previous Bass Lake Beach and Campground Facebook page removed so he did create a new Facebook page that would serve as the official one. Kathy Norem will also assist in maintaining the Facebook page for the time being.
  • The park board talked about the next steps into getting a five year plan completed. Mr. Ritzler said they solicited four different companies to provide a proposal for the five year plan. A representative from DLZ was at the meeting to give copies of their proposal for the five year plan. The Park Board decided to meet with each company to hear their proposals. They set a date of August 17th to hold a special session to interview the three companies.
  • Rik Ritzler spoke on getting an updated crosswalk from the Bass Lake Campground to the beach. He contacted INDOT and they will do an update on the crosswalk. They will be sending an investigator out soon to take a look at the area. They will put new signs up and new pavement markings.
  • Larry Clarich was not present at the meeting but he did contact Mr. Ritzler to give a brief report on the beach and campground. After discussion, it was determined that Larry Clarich was not doing the job he was hired to do. Mr. Ritzler made a motion to terminate Larry Clarich because of failure to uphold his contract. Karl Swihart seconded. PASSED.
  • PUBLIC COMMENT

Mary Perren brought before the board some grant opportunities that the Park Board may be eligible for and just wanted to share the information with the board.

Mr. Ballard adjourned the meeting at 8:16 p.m.


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