02-14-2023 Meeting Minutes

Starke County Parks Department

February 14, 2023 Minutes

Present: R. Ballard, T. Busch, S. Byer

T. Busch made the motion to accept the minutes from January 10, 2023 meeting, seconded by S. Byer. Passed 3-0

T. Busch made motion, seconded by S. Byer and passed 3-0 to approve the minutes from the executive meeting from January 17, 2023

J. Schram explained, again, the Beaver Agreement for the Forest. It will be signed after the Drainage Board accepts and returns it to the Board

Ted from Kramer Beach determined the sand being considered for the beach is sand burr sand and is not acceptable. Ted will look for a better sand. T. Williams has a letter where the DNR has already accepted the placement of the sand, once it is found.

J. Schram explained the current Torte Claim notice from the Haug’s. Suit claims the county placed sand on their property causing erosion. This is being handled by the insurance company. A call took place with them and several knowledgeable parties to share information to allow them to move forward with this situation.

T. Williams reported that the DNR has said it is the park department’s responsibility to arrange removing the diving platform. This would involve permits from the DNR. R. Ballard suggested that J. Schram file something with the State to see if they will compensate some or all of this expense because the department was not responsible for placing it there.

T. Williams reported that there is a donation fund that currently has a balance of $30,000.00 in it. This is for the kayak launch project. An additional $5,000.00 was left by Mr. Hardesty and is to be used strictly for the kayak project. This will be used as part of the matching funds required for the grant.

T. Williams said the pier permits are forthcoming.

The BLBH/Trailhead committee met with the Troyer group, architect crew that inspected the building. They were given all the information available regarding electric, plumbing, etc. They will return to take more measurements, to take pictures that will assist in them calculating the costs for the project.

R. Ballard discussed the current permits for the kayak launch project. Asked where the $35,000.00 is coming from. This is the money Kathy Norem has offered. We have 18 months to begin the project. There is question regarding the property at Wythogan Park. The city owns the property but it would be the county’s responsibility to maintain it. R. Ballard has asked J. Schram to look into having that piece of property transferred to the parks department.

A letter from the Prairie Trails group is being sent to the town of North Judson applying for a grant and asking for an easement on the property from the town. Mr. Wickert send a copy of the letter and is asking for the Park Board’s support on their effort.

The Park Board website is currently down due to transfer of domain ownership to our IT department. It should be up and running shortly.

S. Byer said the electric at the beach and campground needs upgraded. It was discussed that this would cost approximately $250,000.00 and suggests the board implement an electrical charge to the campers to off-set the high electrical costs through the season. T. Busch suggested this be part of the budget meeting for the 2024 budget. R. Boonstra suggested hosting “town hall” meetings with the campers throughout the season to discuss this.

It was discussed that this year’s board member has not been voted in. R. Ritzler would like to remain on the board but step down from the Vice President position. T. Busch offered to fill that position. It was tabled until next meeting when everyone will be there to cast their votes.

T. Williams reported that she will be placing the order for parts to begin the process of installing the new lift station.

M. Topelian from the Bass Lake Festival Committee asked for a letter of consent allowing the committee to use the beach for this year’s festivities. T. Williams will work with her on the logistics. R. Ballard agrees to donating the property for July 28 – 30th this year.

T. Williams is working on clarification on where the designated swimming areas are and if they will be placed on the beach this year.

T. Busch made motion, seconded by S. Byer and passed 3-0 for the meeting to adjourn.