Financing possibilities and informing the public have been topics the Starke County Jail Committee has been working on recently. The committee has discussed holding informational meetings throughout the county to bring the public up to date on various options for rehabbing or building a new jail.
Fires, escapes, and a class action lawsuit have brought attention to the liabilities at the jail. Reportedly the second oldest county jail in the state, the facility has been overcrowded at times throughout the past year.
Republican State Representative Doug Gutwein, of Francesville, visited the Starke County Commissioners recently to tell them he would be willing to author a bill in the upcoming session of the legislature that would, if passed, provide an income tax (CEDIT) option for financing the remodeled or new jail. Other options include property taxes or a combination of income and property taxes.
Also helping to boost the measure in the legislature will be Democrat State Representative Nancy Dembowski, of Knox, Republican State Representative Tom Dermody, of LaPorte, and State Senators Republican Ed Charbonneau, of Valparaiso, and Democrat Jim Arnold, of LaPorte.
February 14th is the deadline for presenting the bill in the short session, so a round of public meetings will be arranged throughout the county in early January. Attending the meetings with the committee will be financial experts and consultants from the construction management team from the Skillman Corporation.