The Starke County Council and Commissioners are expected to make their appointments to the county park and recreation board at their respective meetings this evening. The council gets two appointments, one Democrat and one Republican. The commissioners get one appointment, and it is not restricted by political party affiliation.
Park board members will be charged with promoting parks, public open spaces and recreational activities on county-owned properties. These include the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, Starke County Forest and other lands. The board will develop and implement policies regarding their use, maintenance and development in hopes of increasing their awareness and use.
One of their first challenges will be to address camping guidelines at the Bass Lake Campground. It is owned by the county but contractually managed by Richard Callahan. The county commissioners have opted to let the park board decide whether extended campsite leases will be allowed there after several seasonal campers complained about their proposal to limit camping to 15 days at a time.
Callahan and his attorney, Dave Wallsmith, will also provide their monthly management report to the commissioners during this evening’s meeting. The commissioners agenda also includes consideration of a health care provider change for workmans’ compensation claims and an appointment to the Koontz Lake Regional Sewer District Board.
The council will conduct budget hearings for the county, the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library, North Judson-San Pierre Schools, Starke County Airport and Starke County Solid Waste. They will also consider an appropriation request from the commissioners for rainy day fund money and an appropriation request from Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County. Sheriff Oscar Cowen will also present a proposed amendment to the police pension plan.
The council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at the county annex building and will be followed at 7 p.m. by the commissioners meeting.