Richard Callahan has been working diligently to maintain the site, and make capital improvements where necessary. Due to lacking funds for the Park Board to work with, certain improvements are deducted from the cost of rent at the site; provided a detailed and accurate account of the work is kept.
The conversation quickly devolved, however, as the bills did not meet the Park Board’s standard. Board member Deb Mix says she wants to start making bill recommendations correctly.
“What sites were upgraded? Do you want to know which sites were upgraded? I think that’s important,” says Mix. “So for next year’s sake, we have an idea of what sites were upgraded so it’s not done again.”
Callahan has made several improvements, including: painting, new sand, asphalt grindings, and the repair of about 70 picnic tables. A camping site was resurfaced after it was found to be in need of repair. Weed removal, however, has run into problems with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources which says only 5-percent of the weeds can be moved at one time.
The Starke County Park Board was in agreement the parties involved need to touch base with the County Building Inspector. Although the site has been visited, a busy schedule has prevented the entire site from being inspected.
No evidence exists at this point to suggest there are code violations, though the Park Board indicated they may be forthcoming. A County Commissioner reassured those in attendance that any serious violations would be slated for immediate repairs.
Callahan says he often has to get things fixed right away.
“Sometimes I go out and spend my own cash, I don’t charge you, I don’t do anything,” says Callahan. “There’s a lot of things that I don’t charge. I lose the receipts or whatever happens. I don’t charge you for every nickel and dime I spend, I’m there to better the place.”
Apart from the lack of itemization, the Park Board also requested better communication when it comes to repairs being made at the site. Certain projects are allegedly being completed without prior permission.
The Park Board tabled paying the bills 3-1 until proper itemization has been completed.