Starke County Park Board Meeting Minutes – June 14, 2022
Present: R. Ballard, R. Ritzler, K. Swihart and T. Busch
Meeting was called to order by Mr. Ballard at 6:00 PM
Approval of minutes of May 10th meeting was motioned by R. Ritzler, seconded by K. Swihart and passed 4-0.
Approval of minutes of June 7, 2022 special meeting was motioned by R. Ritzler, seconded by K. Swihart and passed 4-0.
R Ritzler motioned to accept financial reports, seconded by K. Swihart. Passed 4-0
R. Ritzler made a motion to approve the pier payment in two installments. K. Swihart seconded and it passed 4-0.
Tom is working to monitor who has their boats improperly augered or tied to the piers. These customers are being notified and asked to rectify the situation. He also reported that he has been very successful in assigning slips as they become available.
T. Busch gave an update on the current pier slip situation.
Refunds will be given or credit towards next year based on the number of weeks each pier customer is prevented from using their piers. Motion to refund or credit, based on prorated amounts, was made by K. Swihart. R. Ritzler seconded and it passed 4-0.
There was much discussion regarding increasing the salary for the Superintendent’s position. R. Ritzler believes the current salary should be around $42,775.00 and that Camryn came in around 37,500.00. He believes her low it too low and, since she has met her 90 day employment it should be increased. Discussion was shared regarding the position being eligible for comp time and that some limits should be set on that. Also discussed was the county vehicle she has available should be considered when looking at overall salary and benefits. It was decided that this item would be tabled until more detailed information could be researched on what those pay ranges are within the county.
C. Kopka asked to have A. Giuliani reassigned as campground manager. There is so much going on and she feels it would be advantageous to have someone overseeing the campers and camp workers. It was stressed how important it is to get the campground going well. Currently, R. Boonstra, A. Giuliani and C. Kopka are working together to get things running. R. Ritzler offered to help when he can.
R. Ballard agreed that the campground and beach are the crown jewel of the Park Dept. and we need to function well so that more revenue can be generated.
Campground manager issue was tabled for another meeting.
It was reported that tree and some branches will be taken down this week. It was further agreed that a quote is needed to address all the other tree and limbs that need taken out.
Superintendent reported a lot of maintenance and electrical projects have been completed, a port-a-potty has been placed on the south end of the beach area. She attended a meeting with Kathy Carrier about financial support for future beach projects. Trash service companies have been changed that offers a savings of $1,853.00 over the course of the remaining season. Pier Hardware is still 2-3 weeks out on the shipment that will then need to go to be galvanized. Medicom will have internet up and running next week.
Credit cards will soon be accepted through pay.gov. Since the last board meeting, the Park Dept. has deposited $24,595.00 in new revenue.
C. Kopka requested a change in the tent camping and beach entrance fees. R. Ritzler motioned, K. Swihart seconded and it passed 4-0 to charge $20.00 per night per tent without electric, $25.00 tent with electric and the beach entrance will go to $5.00 per vehicle with one person and $10.00 per vehicle with 2 or more.
The beach house/rest room alternative was discussed. R. Ritzler reported the Stellar program projected the project for protecting and renovating the building would cost approximately $80-100,000.00. The conservancy department was asked to waive the sewer connections but declined. They did donate $1,000.00 towards the $4,500.00 hook up fee. It is expected that the private sector could raise $40,000 to $50,000 and hope the county could fund the rest of the project. Bass Lake is becoming very popular especially with kayaking and the hiking trails. This project needs to be done. It is possible the Solar Project company may contribute funds, as well.
D. Pearman encourages things that are needed for beach building development. Commissioners may consider matching funds for this project. This would be an ideal location for the Parks Dept. offices.
Combining the Parks department with the Prairie Trails Club was discussed. It would be beneficial to work together to improve and expand the trails, adding many miles from 600 E. to the lake. R. Ritzler and D. Pearman agreed to work together to get the project started.
R. Ritzler made the motion, seconded by K. Swihart and passed 4-0 to start to plan the project.
Approval of claims and paying routine utilities; K. Swihart motioned to approve, T. Busch seconded and it passed 4-0.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:32.