Drainage Issues Linger with Culvert Construction Behind Schedule


Beavers are not the problem.

That’s according to the manager of the Starke County Forest Bruce Wakeland. He appeared before the County’s Park Board on Tuesday due to additional drainage complaints submitted to the Starke County Surveyor’s office and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Past meetings have accused beavers occupying the forest area of building dams that block the flow of water. In response to questioning by the Park Board, Wakeland says blaming the beavers is a scapegoat.

“You could totally destroy all of the beaver dams, eliminate the beavers, and it would make absolutely no difference to their problem,” says Wakeland.

At last check, the agreement was to construct a culvert in the area to help with drainage on a neighboring property. That culvert has not been constructed just yet, but the Park Board has a lingering concern the drainage issues receiving complaints may be the fault of beavers occupying the forest.

The culvert construction is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $3-thousand. The individual responsible for the complaints has yet to appear before the Park Board. That fact brought questioning from some members.

Debbie Mix was among them. She says there’s a process for handling such issues.

“I would like to hear from those who are complaining, says Mix. “That’s one of the things. There is a form for them to complain, and if they don’t come, there’s not problem.”

Wakeland attributes the drainage issues on the neighboring property to a ditch that has not been dredged in the last 60 years or so. He says it is silted into the point of being ineffective.

Construction of the new culvert by Wakeland is anticipated. Communication about its progress is expected with the Park Board.