The Starke County Commissioners are preparing for the start of renovations to the courthouse and former jail building. Bids for the work were opened last night and will be awarded during a special-called meeting next week. Meanwhile, the prosecutor’s office and the coroner’s office are moving out of the old jail so demolition work can begin immediately. The Starke County Health Department and Purdue Extension are also relocating from the first floor of the courthouse.
The prosecutor’s office will be based out of the Starke Circuit Court space at the new jail east of town during the construction, with the exception of the Child Support Division. It’s moving into office space on Edgewood Drive next to Duneland Dialysis due to the traffic volume in the office. The health department and Purdue Extension will also be located there. The county is leasing the space for $1,500 per month with an additional $100 for lawn maintenance and snow removal. The offices will be relocated this week so renovations can begin as soon as contracts are awarded.
The commissioners have worked out a short-term agreement with a local funeral home for body storage and are looking at building a pole barn-style structure for the coroner on the new jail site. They’re finalizing cost estimates and will have more information at their Sept. 19 meeting. Money for the building will come from the cumulative capital development fund.