witness motorized vehicles such as ATVs or snow mobiles on park property
should call 911, says Porter County Park Superintendent Walter Lenckos.
During his staff
report at the Park Board’s meeting Thursday night, Lenckos took a moment to
comment on the use of motorized vehicles in Porter County parks. “I would
like to publicly remind folks that motorized vehicles, ATVs and snow mobiles
are absolutely 100 percent prohibited from Porter County park trails,” he
said, then urged residents to report right away any activity in a county
park that doesn’t seem right.
“I would also
remind the public that if they see someone operating a snow mobile in a park
the best course of action is to call 911 to let the Sheriff know.”
president of the Illiana Garden Railway Society (IGRS), suggested that the
board consider using barricades with locks, like those used by many smaller
municipal park departments. Lenckos responded that using barricades is
possible, but since the parks are not completely enclosed, they wouldn’t
effectively deter people from entering on prohibited vehicles. The board
also urged representatives of IGRS and the Northwest Indiana Historical
Power Association (NIPHA) to be on the lookout for anything out of the
ordinary when they use the parks.
Canright suggested that signs at the parks should reflect the rules and
encourage residents to call 911 to report motorized vehicles. Lenckos agreed
this was a good idea.
The board did not
take formal action on it at this time.
Attorney David Hollenbeck noted that the farmers currently farming on county
park property will have first right to farm it again this year, and that the
board will not go out for competitive bids. Hollenbeck said that at least
one farmer wants to continue, to his knowledge, and he will contact the
If any of the
farmers do not wish to continue, the board will make a public call for
people who wish to farm the land.
Lenckos asked how
the price per acre is determined for farmers who retain the land they farmed
in 2017. Hollenbeck responded that the price is not fixed at the same rate,
and that the board can fine-tune the rate based on market changes.
He also said that
the current arrangement has been working well. “We’re happy with the farmers
we have. We’ve gotten a good price from them and they’re doing a good job.”
Tom Schnabel opted
not to reapply for his seat on the board. Canright proposed that the Board
elections be formally postponed until the County Commissioners have selected
his replacement. President Rich Hudson agreed.
Railway Society (IGRS) President David Ransem reported that the organization
is still waiting on 501c3 non-profit status. He also took a moment to thank
Lenckos for attending the IGRS Christmas party.
“He gave a great
talk to everybody, so that everybody’s more informed about what we’re
doing,” he said.
traffic data collected by a sensor at the gatehouse of Sunset Hill Farm
Park. According to the sensor, about 34,000 vehicles entered the park in
November presumably to view the popular Christmas light show.
Lenckos is still
waiting on the numbers for December.