The Starke County Council has taken a first step toward approving the purchase of three new Freightliner trucks for the highway department. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says that eight of the trucks in the county’s fleet are more than 15 years old, and many have more than 300,000 miles. He says they are becoming more costly to maintain than to replace. Even though the initial replacement cost is $439,672 for three new vehicles, Ritzler says they would last the county several years. Money for the purchase is in the county highway fund; however, the state requires the appropriation be advertised before it can be spent. Council members approved the advertisement and expect to give final approval to the purchase when they meet in June. Ritzler also told the council he plans to implement a fleet management plan and replace a vehicle each year after this.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.