Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Park Board hears project updates

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The Porter County Park Board discussed 2018 plans and heard project updates at its meeting Thursday night.

Park Superintendent Walter Lenckos reported that the County Commissioners have approved the creation of a fund for the $200,000 Land and Water Conservation Act grant which the Park Department has secured. The grant comes as a reimbursement, so the next step is for the County Council to allocate funds for the up-front cost in the form of an additional appropriation.

Lenckos also reported that the Board received its annual funding from the Porter County Convention, Visitors, and Recreation Bureau in the amount of $35,640; that the grain bin education center is now roughly 85 percent funded; and that new County Council President Andy Bozak has expressed interest in being involved in the Park Department’s projects. Vice-president Rich Hudson noted that Bozak spent several years on the Burns Harbor Park Board.

Lenckos, who recently spoke with Kouts Town Council President Tim Jones, told the Board that Jones has agreed to remain the contact for the Aukiki Park project. In the meantime, Bob Rhoda will continue to farm the land at Aukiki for $225 an acre.

In response to a query from President Craig Kenworthy, Lenckos said that he is currently preparing a list of 2018 projects, their estimated cost, and funding sources for them.

Kenworthy also called attention to a brush pile located near the entrance to Sunset Hill Farm Park and suggested that it’s unsightly. “That looks more like a compost pile,” he said. “That’s the first thing people see coming from the South when they see Sunset Hill.”

Lenckos, however, said that the brush was placed there as a shelter and stopping place for wildlife. He did promise to ask the Indiana Department of Natural Resources whether the brush can be relocated.

NIHPA Maintenance Plan

Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association President Nick Misch reported that NIHPA has decided on a tentative budget and will iron out the final numbers at their Feb. 14 meeting. He also reported that they’ve decided how to proceed with their building maintenance plan.

NIHPA, Misch said, will start with the buildings at the front entrance of the park and work backwards, evaluating the structures and deciding what needs to be done. The floorboards of some buildings will likely need repair, he added, and if time and money allow the chicken coop will also see repairs. They’re hoping as well to seal the shop roof in time for Camp Funset.

Camp Funset

Registration for Camp Funset begins Feb. 23. Registration is online only this year, and there will be no open house.


In other business, Board members elected 2018 officers, with the President and Vice-president switching places. Kenworthy is now President and Hudson is Vice-president.

The Board’s first official action of 2018 was to recognize departing Board member Tom Schnabel. Schnabel served the Board from 2014 through the end of last year. Lenckos read a resolution publicly commending Schnabel for selfless service over the years and presented him with a plaque. Schnabel has been replaced by new member Chris Richardson.



Posted 2/2/2018





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