The Starke County Jail Committee, that has been selected to address the problems at the aging Starke County Jail, received notice that House Bill 1213 passed on the last day of the session. The approval allows the Starke County Council to increase the County Economic Development Income Tax to finance, construct and equip a jail facility. The County Council is only permitted to raise enough funds to cover the costs of the jail and the additional tax rate cannot increase more than .65%.
This measure allows Starke County officials to issue bonds to keep the financial burden of building a new jail, or rehabbing the current facility from falling entirely on the taxpayers.
House Bill 1213 was introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee in January by Republican Representative Tom Dermody, of LaPorte. It was supported by Republican Senator Ed Charbonneau, of Valparaiso, Democrat State Senator Jim Arnold, of LaPorte, Democrat State Representative Nancy Dembowski of Knox, and Democrat State Representative Doug Gutwein, of Francesville.
Representative Dermody said that if the measure passed, Starke County will have access to a jail that meets 21st century demands and citizens will benefit more from law enforcement.