The Starke County Commissioners and the Starke County Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed jail project.
Council President David Pearman said the council and the commissioners hope to approve a proposed ordinance that would enable the officials to utilize a 0.65 percent tax rate that would help fund the construction of a new jail facility.
Once the ordinance is approved, Pearman said the project will start to take shape
“Everybody wants to know where we’re going to put the jail so we’re really going to have to look harder at that,” Pearman said. “To start a project, we have to have a site so they can look at the site, understand what we need for site readiness and site preparation. I think that will be the next step. We’ll start looking at some property in some areas and some zoning and things like that. Our partners, our consultants, will then take things to the next level. They’ll start refining some of the drawings, working toward the ultimate goal of starting to work on some bids and things like that as well.”
The new jail facility would be built on a site of anywhere from four to 10 acres, and the preliminary design plans call for a facility of 32,406 square feet. The current Starke County Jail is only 13,350 square feet.
The facility would hold 108 beds, with the option of adding an additional 32 beds if necessary. The total estimated cost for construction came to $14 million. The construction would take approximately 18 to 20 months, depending on the site and design.
The commissioners and the council hope to have the jail project done in 2015.