The Starke County Jail Committee has found a suitable piece of property, but what happens now? Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem said that while they have found a useable location, they have not yet decided on whether or not to purchase it.
“We’ve looked at a number of properties over the last couple of months as prospective jail sites, but the one that is a very strong contender right now is a piece of property located at the intersection of State Road 8 and 550 East,” said Norem.
The property Norem mentioned is owned by Mark Bailey, and the full parcel encompasses approximately 80 acres of land. However, Norem said they won’t need the full parcel for the project.
“Mark does own 80 acres at that site, we would not be interested in purchasing the entire 80 nor do I think he’s interested in selling the entire 80, but it would likely be a 10-acre parcel,” Norem said.
Norem said they have not yet determined the price per acre of the land, but the matter will be further discussed at the next meeting of the county commissioners on Nov. 19, when Norem said they will likely make a number of deciding motions.
She said that they are currently looking at specs for a 108-bed jail which would be designed as a pod system. The pods would be divided into quarters, and the 108 beds would compose three-quarters of one pod. Norem said they would have the option of using the remaining pod quarter to add additional beds, bringing the full capacity to 140 inmates if the price is right.