07-13-2021 Meeting Minutes

Present:  Richard Ballard, Kathy Norem, Rik Ritzler, Karl Swihart, Atty. Martin Lucas

*Meeting was called to order by Mr. Ballard at 6:00 p.m.


Approval of minutes from 5/11/21, 6/8/21, and 6/29/21 meeting.  Mr. Ritzler made the motion, Mr. Swihart seconded.  Passed 4-0.

            SCCF (Starke County Community Foundation) check presentation by Jacque Ryan for $1500 to be used for the purchase of kayaks and paddleboards for Bass Lake Beach.

            Mary Topelian, Bass Lake Festival representative, discussed plans for this year’s festival. Requested permission to use the beach for festivities.  The board agreed no admission fee to the beach on Saturday 7/24 of the festival & depending on the boat race for Sunday if there will be free admission again.  No trailers will be allowed.  Mr. Swihart made motion, Mr. Ritzler seconded. Passed 4-0. 

            Debbie Mix—membership grant.  Was absent.  Discussion postponed.

            Starke County Forest—Brenda Palmer.  Brenda not able to attend, but Joann Bailey present. They are requesting permission to use the Starke County Forest on October 16, 2021 for a 5k pet walk/run. Board asked if Bruce Wakeland had been contacted.  Ms. Bailey said yes, she believes Deb Mix was on the phone with him during a meeting and he doesn’t have a problem with it, but they needed to come to the Park Board. Mr. Ritzler made the motion to approve the walk/run contingent upon Mr. Wakeland’s approval, Mrs. Norem seconded.  Passed 4-0.

            Status of Installation of Starke County Forest signs.  Mr. Ritzler gave an update that highway employee that was working on them, no longer works there, so a delay, but he will reach out to the highway department for a completion status.

            Bass Lake Shoreline Project.  Stone is ready.  Mr. Ritzler is attempting to reach Jamie Dowd to see when project can be completed. 

            Update on Facebook page and website. Larry can’t remember password.  Atty Lucas will look into removing current Facebook page and starting a new one that can be ran by Starke County Park Board.  The board would like minutes and agenda on both county website and Park Board website.  Complaints/concerns link is going well & Rik is receiving them. 

            Bass Lake fence removal.  Kathy Carrier has made an offer to pay for the fence to be removed. Her offer expires 60 days from the date of her email, which is 7/16.  Mrs. Norem informed her that she would take her offer to the board and to the insurance carrier.  Board appreciates the offer, but would like more time for discussion.  Public had concerns with fence coming down & nothing to replace it.  Board is aware of issues, but Mrs. Norem stated that any offer, etc., she is obligated to present to the board.   

            Bass Lake Beach & Campground inventory report—Mr. Ritzler has not completed due to more things coming up.  With the new information, he will hopefully have the report ready to present at the next meeting.

            5 year plan—Mr. Ritzler has contacted 5 different companies to do a business plan per recommendation.  He gave them a deadline of August 10th to have their proposals.  Would like to have it in place by January 2022.  Public commented that they would like to have input on the 5 year plan.

            Bass Lake Beach & Campground update—Larry Clarich.  Lift station issue. Mr. Ritzler will contact Tom Jordan to give his opinion on repair.  Larry asked if the sand groomer is going to happen.  Mr. Ritzler advised that perhaps more important issues to be addressed first, but board will have to discuss.  Public had several concerns about issues at campground & beach that aren’t taken care of.  Mrs. Norem advised them to write their concerns down & give them to the board with their names on them.  Public asked about payment due dates, seems to be a lot of confusion.  Mrs. Norem advised them of paperwork that Larry turned in with dates of March 1st, June 1st, & September 1st.  Payments are to be made to Auditor’s office.  Decision regarding next season’s payment schedule will be discussed at a later time.

            Mrs. Norem made a motion for leases to include no sub-leasing and to be mailed to campers for signatures & return to the Starke County Auditor’s office.  They will also be available on the website.  Also include a copy of their camping receipt for their records. Atty. Lucas will update the lease & send to the board for approval.  To be returned by August 1, 2021.  Mr. Ritzler seconded.  Passed 4-0. 

            Mrs. Norem made a motion for campers to turn in copies of their cancelled checks to see when and who they were made out to for this season.  Mr. Ritzler seconded. Passed 4-0.

            Public asked about boat slip reduced rate due to water level. Mrs. Norem made motion to pro-rate pier slip as of 7/13 for $5.55/day.  Mr. Ritzler seconded.  Passed 4-0

            Mr. Ritzler discussed the trees/branches problem.  He made motion to get quotes to contract work out.  Mrs. Norem seconded.  Passed 4-0.

            Mrs. Norem discussed federal AARP money available for a possible beach house. Recommends that at least 1 board member to attend the next commissioner meeting and the council meeting. 

            Mrs. Norem states need for a park Superintendent to oversee all the Starke County parks.  She states there is an Indiana code to allow for the park board to hire one.  Atty Lucas added there is an ordinance for the park board to have a Superintendent.  This person would handle all the day to day, organizing events, planning, etc.  Mrs. Norem volunteered to discuss with the council Monday night.

            Public question to Atty. Lucas about the buoys.  Atty. Lucas will check into this issue.

            Approval of claims & paying routine monthly utilities.  Mrs. Norem made the motion, Mr. Ritzler seconded.  Passed 4-0.

            Board would like to have financial reports on the agenda each month.

            Adjourned at 7:54 p.m.  Mr. Ritzler motion, Mrs. Norem seconded. Passed 4-0.