The Starke County Commissioners opened roof repair bids Wednesday for the Starke County Jail. Three bids were received and Commissioners Kathy Norem and Dan Bridegroom awarded the bid to Northern Indiana Roofing and Sheet Metal Corporation out of South Bend. Commissioner Jennifer Davis was absent from the meeting.
“We did get some bids to completely tear off and replace the existing roof on the jail,” said Commissioner Kathy Norem. “The bids ranged from $49,730 to $64,000. We did choose the low bid and that bid is $49,730. It will be with a white lining instead of a black lining which we hope will reflect heat and produce some lower cooling bills for the jail as well. It also has a 15 year warranty.”
Starke County Sheriff, Oscar Cowen, was asked about the condition of the roof at the jail.
“We’ve got a couple of locations where we actually have buckets catching water,” he stated. “It’s not in the inmate section. It’s out in the booking area. The only harm that is going to be done is to the ceiling tiles and there’s damage there. There’s always the fear of it leaking over to the radio equipment and that would cause a considerable amount of damage. I’m thankful to the Commissioners for the work they did to get bids on the roof and hopefully get that finally fixed for as long as the jail exists.”
The Commissioners are expected to award a bid for a new HVAC unit for the jail at their Monday meeting.
“The furnace system is getting old and is needing a lot of repairs. There was always the fear through the winter with the system going out and we’d have the problem of housing the inmates again. In the summertime, in the inmate section, a lot of times it was hard to keep it cooled down. The furnaces are old and obsolete. The company that worked on them advised that they could no longer get parts for the furnaces that exist, so they’re taking bids. The way I understand it is next week the Commissioners will be looking at the bids and giving a company the opportunity to put new furnaces in.”