The Marshall County Park and Recreation Board prepared their 2023 budget request for the County Council during their meeting last week.  The budget basically matched this year’s budget although they didn’t budget any additional funds for the historic cabin relocation, and they increased the Memorial Forest and Yellow River funds to $5,000 each and the Contractual Services to $10,000.

Secretary Deb VanDeMark said she thought there might be interest in additional projects for the Trails at Millpond and the beginning of an additional kayak launch on the Yellow River.   

Jeff Houin from the Bike Trail committee said their only expense would be for some additional lumber to build a couple of features and VanDeMark said she thought the park board should consider some clean-up near the pond at the Memorial Forest.  It was commented that additional excavation work needs to be done where the county replaced a culvert on 14th Road.  The work would require the hiring of heavy equipment to assist. 

The additional funds for the Yellow River would assist in creating a kayak launch at one of the county bridges.  Committee member Terry Borggren said Starke County estimated $50,000 for each of the launches they are working on.  It was noted that the County Park Board did receive a $4,000 grant for a feasibility study for kayak launches along the Yellow River.

Board member Adam Thada also suggested having matching funds available for a grant possibility next year.  He said working 12 to 18 months in advance is hard to determine what might be available and how much match money might be needed so the park board increased the contractual services for that option.  It was also suggested that a contract may need to be hired to address the invasive honey suckle in the Memorial Forest following the completion of the Natural Features Inventory by Cardno. 

The County Park Board also discussed encumbering the funds for the historic trustee cabin if the project isn’t completed this year.  Committee chairman Dick Markley said they budgeted $70,000 but gave Yoder Log and Timber up to $73,000 if they need to replace some logs.  He also noted that prices have increased this year drastically and obtaining materials is difficult.