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County lake bait shop, store may reopen

Staff writer

A bait shop and store could be opened again at the county lake and park.

County lake resident Byron Lange proposed a plan to county commissioners to reopen a bait shop at the lake, and commissioners liked the idea.

“I’m a lake resident.”
Lange said. “I’ve lived out there about two years.”

Lange said the lake is a great asset for the county.

“Right now visitors to the lake have to drive a great distance to get bait for fishing at the lake,” he said.

Under Lange’s proposal, the budget for stocking inventory, buying or upgrading necessary equipment, and hiring part-time help if needed would be $15,000.

The store would stock basic grocery items such as ice, drinks, candy, and chips, live and packaged bait, fishing tackle, charcoal, boating and swimming supplies, propane, firewood and the like.

The lake superintendent would manage the bait shop and store, using staff filling in as necessary.

Inventory would be purchased from local businesses as much as possible.

The lake superintendent would submit monthly profit and loss reports to the commissioners during the first three months of operation and quarterly thereafter.

Purchases exceeding $2,500 would require commissioner approval.

Any operating profits will be used at the end of the fiscal year and used to help fund activities and improvements at the lake.

Surrounding counties have stores and bait shops at their county lakes, he said.

“A bait shop would be a great asset, not only to the lake but to the county,” Lange said.

Commissioner David Crofoot said putting in a store and bait shop would cut down traffic on Upland Rd. He said also that people have to drive farther than Marion to buy fish hooks.

“I would like to bring things back to the community,” Lange.

He expected the store and bait shop would generate enough money to break even, but not make a profit.

Commissioner Randy Dallke asked what effect running a bait shop would have on staffing at the lake.

Lake superintendent Isaac Hett said at the worst, he would expect to have to hire one part-time position for the weekends.

County clerk Tina Spencer said selling live bait is a separate process to go through with the state.

Dallke said he’s willing to try a bait shop and store but wants more information about costs.

Spencer said transient guest tax can be used for promoting tourism.

Dallke said he’d like to see the shop open before the end of the year.

Becker said he’d like to see it open for Memorial Day.

Becker said he’d like to have it on the next agenda, to give Isaac time to check prices.

One snag in the proposal is that the lake office has an electrical problem that needs to be resolved.

Commissioners told Hett to have an electrician look at the problem and give an estimate, and to present a more detailed list of inventory costs at next week’s meeting.

Last modified April 8, 2021

 

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