The Starke County Jail Committee is currently searching for property for a new jail.
Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem told the committee that the sooner that they find property for the new jail, the better. The city of Knox will not allow the installation of a new radio tower for the jail over 100 feet, so the sooner they find property, the sooner a radio tower that fits the county at the best suitable height can be built.
Five properties were presented and narrowed down to three possibilities. Those property locations will be released once it becomes more clear in which direction the committee will choose.
Scott Cherry, account executive with construction management firm Skillman Corporation, reminded the committee that $250,000 has been set aside for land acquisition. If a parcel is not located within city limits, $750–800,000 will be needed to run water and sewer to that location. The minimum amount needed for the jail is 6.5 acres.
The committee will begin meeting again soon and present their final decision to the Starke County Commissioners.
The committee is also anxious to get the project rolling into high gear in order to relieve the overcrowding situation at the jail. Inmates continue to be transported to the Pulaski County facility to keep the Starke County Jail population around 60 inmates, and Pulaski County Jail Commander Phil Cherry says the agreement seems to be working out so far.
“On our end, it’s been fine,” said Cherry. “We’ve had no major issues. We’ve had a few minor ones, but they’ve been resolved. Cooperation has been really good between us and the Starke County Jail – not too many problems at all.”
Over 20 Starke County inmates are being housed at the jail for $20 a day.