03-14-2023 Meeting Minutes

Starke County Parks Department

March 14, 2023


Meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM

Present were R. Ballard, K. Swihart, T. Busch and S. Byer

S. Byer made motion to accept minutes from February 14th meeting, seconded by T. Busch and passed 4-0

The signs are up at Kramer Beach with Kathy reporting that Ted took guardrails down, sand and dirt were delivered and leveled. Tables are out and being repaired and grass seed will be put down. She said everyone was very pleased with all the assistance provided by the department and all involved.

Beaver Agreement is still waiting on signatures.  Signage has been requested for roads leading to the forest.

T. Williams reported that there have been several meetings with the Troyer group and affiliates and they have submitted a floor plan. The goal is to use the basic structure which will not allow for installation of heat and air conditioning and a fully functional kitchen that would require additional venting. The kitchen area will be suitable for serving hot dogs, nachos and the like that require minimum cooking. The bathrooms will be updated and become ADA compliant. The first installment of $1,290.00 has been made to Troyer.  Grant goes in in June but will not know anything until the end of this year or early 2024.

T. Busch will have Bob Cauffman  look at the platform and will talk to DNR regarding having it removed. S. Byer contacted the Conservation officers who are in the process of lining up their dive team who will locate and remove it. Discussion was had regarding contacting Portside Marina to see if their equipped pontoon may be able to remove it.

The Parks website has been turned over to the county’s system and being controlled by our IT department. It was requested that the agendas for all meeting be posted on the website.

Work will begin on establishing staffing needs for the season and begin advertising. Also, will contact corrections department to see what help may be available there.

B. Montgomery will be replacing the warranted bladder tank in the pumphouse as soon as the water is turned on.

T. Williams says the gate to the campground will be open April 1st. however the water may not be turned on until May 1st., weather dependent.

T. Williams submitted a grant request of $6,000.00 to the Northern Indiana Community Foundation for new trash cans and grills. The Parks Dept. was awarded $3,000.00 towards this project.

A new printer was purchased for $469.00 allowing more professional communication from the department.

T. Busch made motion to retain R. Ballard as board president, seconded by S. Byer and passed 4-0.

R. Ritzler requested he remain on the board but would rather not be vice president. K. Swihart made the motion to appoint T. Busch as the new vice president. S. Byer seconded the motion and it passed 4-0.

T. Williams reported the parts for the new lift station have been ordered and paid $18,005.00 for them. The goal is to have the new station up and operational by the beginning of the camping season.

K. Swihart asked about the donation made for the kayak launches. R. Ballard will have K. Norem at the next meeting to discuss that. It should be a joint meeting with both boards present. The launches will start at the park and English Lake because the tourism board felt it was best for attracting more tourists. Mayor Estok feels $30,000.00 should be enough to do the two launches. Logistics need to be completed as to how it will work with county and city properties and obligations.

T. Williams was contacted by DNR and informed that certified letters were required to the 12 property owners on each side of where the piers will be placed. These were sent out and some confusion has resulted. It was explained that there are minimal changes to the layout of the 3 piers but other than that no changes from last year. The Park Dept. is NOT adding additional piers from what were had last year.

As soon as all the confirmations from letters sent are returned, submitted to DNR the permits will be forthcoming. Once received, the slip sites will be assigned.

K. Swihart confirmed that there will be a Memorial Day Parade and that a representative from N. Judson legion is still needed. Anyone interested is to contact K. Swihart.

S. Byer made motion to adjourn, seconded by T. Busch and passed 4-0.