Park Board Officials Question Beach and Campground Improvements

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board’s frustrations with Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan are growing. They’ve asked county attorney Marty Lucas to attend their meeting this evening to answer questions about the difference between capital improvements and maintenance. Callahan’s lease with the county allows him to deduct capital improvements from his rent payments. However Park Board President Roger Chaffins recently told the county commissioners none of the work has been permitted or inspected and questioned whether it is safe for the public. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Discusses Beach and Campground Improvements

Bass Lake CampgroundThe Starke County Park Board and Rich Callahan, lessor and operator of Starke County’s Bass Lake Beach and Campground, when they met Tuesday night, addressed all the issues before them. They reached agreement on progress, so far, on repair and replacement of certain equipment and/or facilities. Callahan is expected to issue another progress report before the next meeting of the Board on July 21st. Continue reading

Park Board Wants Plan for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Improvements

The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.
The Bass Lake Beach is scheduled to open for the season this weekend.

The Starke County Park Board last night voted to draft a letter to the current lessee of the Beach and Campground at Bass Lake setting forth certain repairs and maintenance to safety and health hazards that must be completed within 30 days. The letter will also set forth that a plan of repair and replacement be developed and established for other equipment and buildings. Continue reading

Starke County Park Board Developing Property List

  
 

The Starke County Park Board is continuing its efforts to develop a list of county properties that have been, or can be, designated as parks to be placed under the authority of the board. The Bass Lake Beach has already been designated as such a property by the county commissioners. The five-member park board has planned an inspection visit to the beach property sometime next month. Continue reading

DNR Official Corrects Statements About Camping at Bass Lake

Bass Lake CampgroundA telephone call from WKVI News to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has brought more clarity to the question of whether seasonal campsite leases are allowed at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. Bob Bronson is the section chief for the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. He originally told us camping is limited to two weeks at a time at properties like Bass Lake, which get funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Act. Bronson has since spoken to officials with the National Park Service and learned otherwise.

“There is no policy on the length of how long you can camp. The state has policies and recommendations, but the funding source and Land and Water Conservation Act does not direct how long somebody can stay at a campground,” Bronson told WKVI News late Thursday. Continue reading

Season Wrapping Up at Bass Lake Beach and Campground

  
 

Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading

Commissioners Prepare Packets for Park Board Members

  
 

The five members of the Starke County Park Board will have plenty of reading material prior to their first meeting. The Starke County Commissioners are sending them welcome packets, which will include copies of the state statute under which the board was formed and the state law pertaining to camping on public properties. One of their first challenges will be to decide whether to allow year-round camping at Bass Lake Beach and Campground. The park board members will also get a copy of the management lease between the county and Richard Callahan. The board is charged with oversight and management of the Starke County Forest and other county-owned public lands.

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Starke County Council, Commissioners Make Park Board Appointments

starke-county-courthouseThe recently formed Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. The county council appointed Democrat Rosemary Rose and Republican Debbie Mix to the five-member panel. The commissioners named Marsha Bedrock as their appointee. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has the remaining two appointments to the board. State law requires him to appoint one Democrat and one Republican. All five initial terms will be staggered. The council appointees will serve for two and four years, the commissioners appointee for two and the judge’s appointees for one and three years. Continue reading

Nominations Sought for Starke County Park Board

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.
The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

Starke County officials are seeking nominations for volunteers to serve on the county park board. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and the Starke County Council each have two nominations – one Democrat and one Republican. The Starke County Commissioners will select the fifth member. Political affiliation is not a consideration for the commissioners nominee. Continue reading

Fate of Bass Lake Seasonal Camping in Park Board’s Hands

Bass Lake Beach
The Starke County Park Board will oversee Bass Lake Beach and Campground

The future of seasonal camping at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground is in the hands of the five yet-to-be-named Starke County Park Board members. The county commissioners previously announced plans to limit camping to 15 days at a time after this season concludes but have not yet sent a formal notice to manager Richard Callahan and his attorney David Wallsmith. They contend those statements have caused damage to the business, as many campers are uncertain whether they will be able to return next year. Continue reading

Monthly Bass Lake Beach Report on Commissioners Agenda

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will get their monthly management report for the Bass Lake Beach and Campground when they meet this evening. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith are first on the agenda for tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Starke County Annex Building. The commissioners voted recently to limit camping to 15 days instead of allowing season-long leasing of campsites. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Crack Down on Bass Lake Campground

  
 

The year-round campsite leases at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground run afoul of the guidelines under which the state turned the property over to the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund does not allow for permanent enclosed structures like campers to be placed on public campsites. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis advised Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, that the practice will no longer be allowed. Continue reading