The last Starke County Jail Committee public meeting was held last night at the North Judson-San Pierre High School Auditorium. Commission President Kathy Norem was asked what kinds of questions residents have been asking about the proposed jail project.
“Most of the questions centered around the financing and how the figure was derived,” commented Norem. “There weren’t too many questions asked about the jail itself. The questions were mainly about the financing.”
The DLZ Corporation presented the jail committee and those in attendance with a proposal for a new 32,406 square foot jail facility that could be built on a site of anywhere from four to 10 acres, at an estimated cost of $14 million. Kathy Norem stated that this is the most feasible way to move forward with a jail project.
Umbaugh and Associates representatives provided the financing information. In order to pay for the project, the county would need issue bonds with a 20 year maturity at $1.18 million annually. Taxes would finance these bonds with an increase of 0.65 percent of adjusted gross income. This equates to an annual income tax increase of $130 for an individual with a state-taxable income of $20,000 per year. For an individual with a state-taxable income of $40,000 per year, this would come out to an additional $260, and for those with a $100,000 state-taxable income, it would equate to a $650 annual increase.
Norem was asked if the meetings have been well attended.
“No, I can’t say that they’ve been well attended. I would have hoped for more attendance, but we’re happy did the folks that did come out and and heard the information,” Norem said.
Norem talks about the next step.
“This same presentation will be given to the joint council and commissioner meeting,” she said. “Councilmen and the commissioners have been in attendance at these meetings, but we will do that next Monday night, Aug. 6.”