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