Despite a philosophical difference between county and city elected officials regarding an infrastructure upgrade for the new Starke County Jail site, the project is still on schedule. The water capacity for the building east of Knox across from Sabre Manufacturing is not adequate, so larger water lines are needed. The county commissioners have agreed to spend up to $50,000 to run new lines to the facility and have obtained an easement from property owners Chuck and Dennis Estok to go through their property to do so. County officials want to get this work done as soon as possible in order to realize a potential savings of $500,000 to taxpayers by keeping the jail project on schedule. That means bid documents for the project have to be ready to go by mid-September.
The Knox City Council wants to expand that basic infrastructure upgrade to accommodate possible future development by adding T valves so new users can more easily tie in to the system. That type of work is more involved and more costly. It will also require a more detailed engineering study.
Additionally, Knox Mayor Rick Chambers advised that the city water department does not have the staff available to even the basic upgrade the county is requesting, so the project will still have to be put out for bid.
After discussing the matter at length during a special-called Knox City Council meeting, county and city officials agreed to let Territorial Engineering work with the city’s water superintendent to draw up specs in order to solicit bids for the work.