The Starke County Park Board held preliminary discussions on what they intend to do in the coming years.
The Park Board has been operating for the last couple of years, but was advised by the Starke County Commissioners the development of Five-Year Plan is advisable. Members of the Park Board would be expected to use the plan during their efforts to improve the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, but also to better manage other green areas within the county.
Acting Board Chair Debbie Mix says its development will help the park board.
“In order for us to get any kind of grants, and the county forest is probably the easiest one to address as far as that goes, but if we wanted to get any type of grant money, we would have to make sure we have a Five Year Plan,” says Mix.
A Five-Year Plan is required as part of any grant application Starke County may be interested in. State agencies often require evidence to show how the project requested for funding fits into that overall vision.
Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas says an inventory of the property in the county is a good place to start for the Park board. He says members may want to prioritize what they believe the board’s jurisdiction happens to be.
Lucas says there are several interesting legal issues they could run across.
“You’re going to run into public dedications for properties that pre-date the time of Park Boards,” says Lucas. “One thing we can look at is: what do those look like? Do they clearly show an intent to create park property? And if they do what has happened in other jurisdictions. That’s come up before in other counties.”
The Five-Year Plan will be considered a work in progress for Starke County.
Members of the Park Board expect to be meeting in public to develop a list of ideas that will influence their actions in the coming months.