October 11

Starke County Park Board Minutes October 11, 2022

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Present: R. Ballard, R. Ritzler, K. Swihart & T. Busch

R. Ballard called the meeting to order at 6:02 PM

R. Ritzler motioned and seconded by T. Busch to accept the minutes from the September 13, 2022 meeting. Passed 4-0

T. Williams suggested using Otis for Kramer Beach signs. She will get them ordered. Rita spoke on the beautification project. The committee will do most of the work. The boats that were on the property are now gone.

C. Hensell spoke to the DNR regarding the number of complaints they have received. DNR suggested the county go before an arbitrator board and legally get riparian rights for the property. Haugs want to put pier in front of their property. T. Williams suggested the property be surveyed.  Ted said it is possible to have it done and charged back to the county. DNR has an arbitrary judge to look at both sides and decide as to who has riparian rights. J. Schramm recommends we let Haug’s put up a pier then start action, stating it is best to wait until an issue arises.

BOA property was discussed. D. Minx would like to see “No Parking” signs there. T. Williams will get with her to further discuss her concerns.

Edward Buswell of KIRPC, offered insight as to how the grant process is done. There is a main DNR Land & Water Conservation Fund grant that must be submitted by June of each year. The maximum amount is $500,000.00 with a 50/50 match. This grant money is to be used for outdoor recreational activities only. With our 5-year park plan already in place we may begin working toward getting these funds. It is critical to have cost estimates; detail budget and descriptions of the department wants to accomplish. It is a two staged process. DNR selects projects they want to fund then passes it onto US Dept. of Interior. The process will take at lease one year. No monies would be seen until 2024.  The Buswell group will actively assist in writing the grant request and working with the department throughout. Their fee will be 5% of the granted monetary amount. D. Pearman said the council could assist in the matching funds that could be considered and investment from the county.

T. Williams and T. Busch enjoyed an in-depth tour of the Forest with Bruce Wakeland. T. Busch gave a brief overview of the marsh project that involves the drainage and beaver eradication. B. Wakeland will be providing a draft for this project to be presented at the next meeting.

Trails & Tails event is scheduled at the forest for Nov. 5th. and an event will be planned for Earth Day on April 22nd.

The resolution requested by B. Wakeland was read and accepted as the Parks Dept. new mission statement. K. Swihart motioned, R. Ritzler seconded and it passed 4-0.

Piers were taken out for the season. T. Williams will be working on resubmitting permits for the 3 piers for the 2023 season. Credits will be issued for next season’s spots. These were based on one third of the amount each person paid. The total credits to be issues will be $12,899.00.

Discussion was shared regarding campers maintaining their own lots. K. Swihart suggested campers be charged $50.00 for unkempt lots. R. Ritzler made motion, seconded by K. Swihart and passed 4-0 that, should campers fail to ensure their lots are maintained, the camper will be charged $50.00 for each incident.

G. Laiter would like to see some stronger language in the Pier Slip leases for next year prohibiting boaters from tying to the piers. He offered to assist T. Busch in the Harbor Master responsibilities for next year.

T. Williams presented the quotes for tree trimming R. Ritzler made motion, seconded by K. Swihart to accept Earnest Tree Service’s bid of $2,000.00. Passed 4-0.

T. Williams gave a financial report showing that we have $60,000.00 left in the budget but reminded the group of all the upcoming claims that still will need paid and will have a better idea of exactly where the department is by the next meeting. D. Pearman confirmed the department is in relatively good shape. 

A. Giuliani suggested that a 2023 season may not be possible without replacing the current lift station for sewage. D. Pearman said he would assist in getting the commissioners to approve the funding needed for the project.

R. Ritzler made motion to accept paying of claims. T. Busch seconded passed 4-0.

The Veteran’s Memorial will need attention prior to Veteran’s Day. K. Swihart said there needs to be representation from VFW’s from Judson, Knox and Hamlet on the committee to oversee this.

It was agreed that there will be a combination lock put on the campground gate when season ends and that all seasonal campers will be given the combination.

Motion was made by T. Busch to adjourn. Seconded by R. Ritzler. Passed 4-0.

Meeting adjourned at 7:48 PM


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