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Today's News

Starke County Commissioners Broaden EMS Director Search

The Starke County Commissioners have changed the job criteria for the EMS director in order to expand the potential pool of applicants. Previously the county was only considering paramedics for the position. That has now been expanded to allow EMT’s to also apply for the opening. The job will pay between $38,000 and $45,000 per year, depending on experience, and the EMS director will have use of a county vehicle. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Set to Hire Deputies

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department is set to make offers of employment to two deputies. The county commissioners reviewed the merit board’s prioritized recommendations of the five applicants during an executive session meeting. Continue reading

Starke County Council Approves Transfers

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials have funds available to shred government documents a committee has decided no longer need to be stored after action this week by the county council. They approved a transfer of up to $10,000 from the commissioners budget for that purpose. They stress that entire amount of money may not need to be spent for document disposal. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Repair Vehicle for EMS Director

Interim Starke County EMS Director Keith Emigh will continue to drive a county-issued four-wheel-drive until a recently retired patrol car is road ready. The vehicle Emigh is currently using to travel between the EMS bases in North Judson, Knox and Grovertown will be transferred to plan commission director Terry Stephenson. Continue reading

Starke County Council Working on 2015 Budget

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council is in the process of crafting the 2015 budget. Once it’s finished, it will be published for taxpayer review. Council President Dave Pearman says that process is changing after this year. Continue reading

Pulaski County County Commissioners Receive Update on Zoning Ordinances

The executive director of the Pulaski County Community Development Commission updated the county commissioners this week on plans to revamp the zoning ordinances.

Nathan Origer explained that the county council approved the transfer of funds from the CDC land acquisition account for the project and plans are progressing.

“Once I have the CDC’s formal approval and the plan commission’s formal recommendation to the commissioners, I will bring it to you. I will get a copy to you in advance as soon as we tweak any details. I sent a list of minor concerns to the company that has submitted the proposal. They don’t anticipate starting the project until mid-November and finishing in early spring. We are still negotiating with Francesville and Winamac to see if either of them want to adopt that same ordinance so that even though they’ll retain their same jurisdictions the rules will be the same across the county,” said Origer.

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Nominations Sought for Starke County Park Board

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

The Bass Lake Beach and Campground are among the amenities the Starke County Park Board will oversee.

Starke County officials are seeking nominations for volunteers to serve on the county park board. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall and the Starke County Council each have two nominations – one Democrat and one Republican. The Starke County Commissioners will select the fifth member. Political affiliation is not a consideration for the commissioners nominee. Continue reading

Pulaski County Commissioners Approve Purchase of New Ambulance

The Pulaski County Commissioners approved a quote for a new ambulance during their meeting on Monday night.

EMS officials announced last week that the ambulance damaged from a February fire and subsequently repaired did not pass state inspection so it was totaled by the insurance company.

During this week’s meeting, EMS Director Nikki Lowry presented the commissioners with four quotes for a new ambulance. They approved a quote from Arrow in the amount of $130,700. Since the insurance company totaled the truck, an $82,000 settlement will go toward the purchase of a new ambulance.

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Starke County Tax Rates Unchanged for Upcoming Year

starke-county-courthouseStarke County’s local option income tax rates are not going up. The county council Monday set the rates for the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) Funds and the Starke County Jail CEDIT. Continue reading

Fate of Bass Lake Seasonal Camping in Park Board’s Hands

Bass Lake Beach

The Starke County Park Board will oversee Bass Lake Beach and Campground

The future of seasonal camping at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground is in the hands of the five yet-to-be-named Starke County Park Board members. The county commissioners previously announced plans to limit camping to 15 days at a time after this season concludes but have not yet sent a formal notice to manager Richard Callahan and his attorney David Wallsmith. They contend those statements have caused damage to the business, as many campers are uncertain whether they will be able to return next year. Continue reading

Monthly Bass Lake Beach Report on Commissioners Agenda

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will get their monthly management report for the Bass Lake Beach and Campground when they meet this evening. Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney Dave Wallsmith are first on the agenda for tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Starke County Annex Building. The commissioners voted recently to limit camping to 15 days instead of allowing season-long leasing of campsites. Continue reading

Pulaski County Council Discusses Appropriation for Fuel at Airport

 The Pulaski County Council continues to iron out financial details since taking over the financial aspect at the airport.

When the decision was made to make Bud Widner a full-time employee, that meant that Wagner had to cease purchasing items under his own name and the county had to reimburse Widner for those items to ensure that all equipment was county owned. That was done for liability purposes.

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Pulaski County Council Approves Transfer for Zoning Ordinance Update

The director of the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) requested a transfer of funds to work on zoning ordinances.

Nathan Origer told the Pulaski County Council members that he is an advisor to the plan commission and said the zoning ordinances were not done professionally and they need to be to fit the needs of the county.

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Pulaski County Justice Center Equipment Needs Discussed

Pulaski County Sheriff's Department

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department

Pulaski County Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston presented the county council members Monday night with several issues with the Justice Center.

Johnston explained the issues.

“The air units on the rooftop of the Justice Center are 17 years old and they have 15 year life spans. Four of them have already failed and the fifth one is failing now. We’re replaced four this year. We still have seven that are about to give it up. We’ve got three water heaters in the upstairs room, one of which failed its inspection from the state. We’ve replaced it but another one started leaking out of the bottom. Those machines are also past their life span by about seven years. We have two water softeners in that same room that are also leaking out of the top and they’re getting ready to go as well,” said Johnston.

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County Officials Considering Uses for Existing Jail Building

starke-county-jail-outsideThe current Starke County Jail in downtown Knox will still be owned by the county and used for correctional programs once the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center east of Knox on State Road 8 opens next year. Commissioner Kathy Norem says the building is part of the collateral for the loan to build the new structure, so it cannot be sold or torn down and must be used in the justice arena. She says the county set aside money to renovate the building. Continue reading

Pulaski County Commissioners, Council Discuss County Home

The Pulaski County commissioners and the county council met in joint session last night where one of the topics was the future of the county home.

In previous meetings this year, Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston presented the county boards with a preliminary structural condition assessment of the county home conducted by American Structurepoint, Inc. The repairs needed are extensive and are estimated between $500,000 to $1 million. With that, the government entities are wondering what should be done.

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Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center Takes Shape

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E will soon house the new Starke County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E will soon house the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

The new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center east of Knox on State Road 8 is still on schedule for a spring 2015 completion. The project is also on budget and features a number of state-of-the-art amenities like video visitation. Commissioner and Starke County Building Corporation President Kathy Norem says it will be much safer and will cut down on the import of contraband into the jail. Continue reading

Commissioners Approve Landfill Purchase Pending Title Work

The Starke County Commissioners may soon own the site of the former county landfill again. They approved a claim for $25,473.55 from the County Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT, fund to buy the 22-acre property, subject to satisfactory title work. Continue reading

Commissioners Vote To Reestablish Dormant Funds

 The Starke County Commissioners voted unanimously this week to reestablish two funds that were somehow discontinued by the state. Monday’s action on the cumulative capital development and cumulative bridge funds will allow the county to keep more of the property tax money it collects and spend money that is currently set aside.

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Commissioners Approve Internet Agreement for Grovertown EMS Base

 The Starke County EMS base in Grovertown will soon have Internet service again.

The county commissioners this week approved a contract with Mediacom for Internet, telephone and basic cable television service there at a cost of $89.95 per month. County information technology director Joe Short says Mediacom had a better price than CenturyLink, who quoted $105 per month for just Internet and telephone service. The $89.95 price is based on a three-year contract.

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