A major Starke County road project is substantially complete. Members of the county council and commissioners and officials from the Starke County Economic Development Commission will celebrate the reconstruction of the intersection of State Road 8 and 300 East later today. The intersection has been rebuilt to accommodate traffic to and from the Knox Industrial Park. It now features a turn lane and acceleration and deceleration lanes to help trucks more easily navigate the corner. Continue reading
Pulaski County is the recipient of a Blight Elimination Program grant from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority worth $147,000.
Dave Weber from the Pulaski County Building Administrator’s office said the grant will help rid the county of blighted structures.
“The funds are designed to demolish vacant, blighted or abandoned housing,” Weber explained. “This grant will last for a period of three years. In the grant application, we had to identify an end use. That end use could be anything. It could be the construction of a new home on that same lot or a community garden. At the end of that three year period, we’ll be left with a positive, constructive end use instead of a vacant lot where those abandoned homes once stood.”
Property taxes are due soon in the Starke County Treasurer’s Office.
Treasurer Kasey Clark told WKVI News that taxes are due in her office on Monday, Nov. 10.
Taxpayers may mail those payments or visit the office on the ground floor of the Starke County Annex building Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to make a payment. A drop box is also available outside the office.
Property taxes may also be paid online at www.starketax.net. Follow the instructions carefully.
The Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director gave the commissioners some food for thought in their meeting this week.
Nathan Origer said the third and final site study has been done on a west side rail industrial development. Preliminary work will be sought to make sure the landowners are on board to move forward with efforts for economic development.
Origer presented a contract for a company to overhaul the county’s zoning ordinances.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department is experiencing a shortage of deputies to cover 14 shifts and outside county officers are coming in to help cover those shifts.
Only five full-time deputies are covering those shifts and part-time officers are needed to help with coverage for the county.
Matron Carrie Aaron and Detective/Sergeant Jason Woodruff presented paperwork to the Pulaski County Commissioners to approve a request to employ part-time deputies from other counties to help keep up with patrols for public safety. A one-time adjustment to the handbook policy was also requested to compensate the officers for payment for holidays and PTO time that cannot be taken due to this circumstance.
Pulaski County Commission President Larry Brady was the lone person who appeared on behalf of the county to speak on behalf of the Pleasant View Rest Home for its consideration as a historic structure.
Brady told WKVI News that he spoke to the officials of the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation of the positive aspects of the county home and also spoke of concerns of the facility so information on both sides was presented. He also spoke about the financing of the county home.
The Marshall County Highway Department was busy this summer with the road program.
Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the commissioners Monday morning that crews were able to chip and seal 38 to 40 miles of roads this year.
“We pugged right around five-and-a-half miles, we paved a little over two-and-a-half miles. We used about 2,000 tons of milling for paving. We used about 1,500 ton of that for miscellaneous patching here and there. Roughly 1,000 to 1,500 ton we used for patching which offsets a tremendous amount of money in years to come as far as buying cold mix,” said Peters.
In a meeting set for this afternoon, the Pleasant View Rest Home will be up for consideration to be placed on the list of historic landmarks.
Officials with the Division of State Historic Preservation and Archaeology will review written comments submitted by supporters and non-supporters of the county home for nomination for placement into the National Register of Historic Places.
The two Starke County Park Board members appointed by the county council will serve two and four years respectively. State law requires the terms for the inaugural board to be staggered to ensure continuity. The council members decided Democrat Rosemary Rose will serve for two years. Republican Debbie Mix will be on the board for four years. They are two of the five members of the panel charged with oversight of Bass Lake Beach and Campground, the Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational areas. The first park board meeting has not yet been set, as members are still trying to coordinate their schedules.
The Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning concerning the vacation of a portion of 3B Road between Quince and Olive Roads.
Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the request went before the plan commission at their recent meeting. The members of the plan commission found findings of fact that the conditions have changed in order to defeat the original purpose of the road, there is a public interest to vacate the road and the value of the road will not be diminished with the vacation of the road.
Members of the Pleasant View Rest Home Board, employees of the facility and family members of the residents in the county home appeared before the Pulaski County Commissioners last night to ask for the commissioners’ support to keep the county home open.
The Pulaski County Council members voted last week by a majority vote to eliminate the funding for the county home in the 2015 budget.
Pleasant View Rest Home Board President Bob White read a letter to the commissioners submitted by the residents to keep the county home open. He asked that the county home board and the county work together to keep the facility operational. Employees made an impassioned plea to support the people in their effort.
Bass Lake Beach and Campground will soon close for the season. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith advised the Starke County Commissioners last night the group piers have been removed from the beach area and all but a few boats are out of the water. Wallsmith also told the commissioners he has not gotten any complaints about the amenities of late and has received complements about how nice and well maintained the facilities are. Continue reading
A generator will soon be installed for use by the Pulaski County Health Department.
The Pulaski County Council members approved an additional appropriation for the purchase in the amount of $3,500 in a prior meeting. It was advertised and approved again on Monday night.
Terri Hansen from the health department approached the council members on Monday where she reported that the generator still hasn’t been installed. The generator has been delivered but it’s in storage at the moment until it can be professionally installed. She expressed her frustration in the delay of the project.
Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery will be receiving a $8,485.29 grant as the county council this week approved his request to apply for the grant.
The initial purpose of Indiana Department of Homeland Security reimbursable grant was to purchase recording equipment for the Emergency Operations Center, but Avery told WKVI News that the equipment is not on the approved list for the grant.
The Marshall County Council members discussed an additional appropriation for the Metronet project Monday morning.
The amount was for $250,000 out of the Rainy Day Fund which is the amount St. Joseph County is expected to pay for the project.
Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that Trinity Health sent in $125,000 for their portion of the cost in August which was appropriated last month. The county is anticipating St. Joseph County’s portion of $250,000 this week. Lukenbill stated that she wants to be prepared for when that happens.
The residents at the Pleasant View Rest Home are going to have to find another place to live.
The Pulaski County Council last night approved a motion to remove funding for the county home from the 2015 budget.
The issue of bills not being collected and the high amount of money it will take to keep the building functional and up to code were the main reasons for the decision. County Council President Jay Sullivan said that he will notify county home board president Bob White of the status change and to set things in motion to get the residents a new place of residency.
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is seeking a $15,000 grant to plan for future workforce needs through the SCILL Center. Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they are looking at the cost of implementing vocational and adult automation robotics equipment maintenance programs. He says there is a growing need for that skill set in manufacturing settings. Continue reading
Judge Dean Colvin explained that the shortfall in the budget is due to a contract with the public defenders.
“In regards to the contract that we have with our current public defenders and the request we made in 2013 to cover 2014 expenses in the additional increase in pay that we provided when we reorganized in the public defenders fund, we have now come to a point where we are in a shortfall. It’s primarily due to that new contract.”
Starke County’s first attempt to shred obsolete files and records was successful in terms of both volume and cost, according to the county commissioners. A committee reviewed records and approved the ones to be shredded. County Maintenance Supervisor Jim Coad says they got rid of nine tons of paper for a cost of $2,222.76. Continue reading
The Marshall County Commissioners approved the 2015 pay schedule and the 2015 holiday schedule.
Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that the year is unique in that there are 27 pays for the year and budgets had to be moved around to accommodate that extra expense. The pay schedule begins Jan. 2.
The holiday schedule was also approved in which the county offices will be closed on Jan. 1, Jan. 19, Apr. 3, May 5, May 25, July 3, Sept. 7, Nov. 3, Nov. 11, Nov 26, Nov. 27, Dec. 24, Dec. 25. Lukenbill stated that the county will follow the state’s holiday schedule.