Council Questions Proposed Jail Addition

Starke County Justice CenterNearly six months after the first inmates moved into the new Starke County Jail east of Knox the architect and builder are recommending a $525,000 addition to the facility. Architect and project manager Scott Carnegie with DLZ told the council and commissioners an automatic auger would catch small items like cellophane and plastic wrappers inmates flush down the toilets and keep them out of the city’s sanitary sewer system. Continue reading

Starke County Officials to Get Courthouse Renovation Update

starke-county-courthouseStarke County officials will have a better idea after tonight of what proposed renovations to the old jail and courthouse will look like and cost. Representatives from DLZ and Skillman Corporation will present plans to the council and commissioners. They designed and built the new jail east of Knox on State Road 8.

The cost of justice-related projects will be covered with funds from the county economic development income tax passed to pay for jail construction. Other improvements will be paid for out of the general county economic development income tax fund. The prosecutor, clerk and Starke County Community Corrections will also contribute money from their budgets to cover portions of the project. The amounts of their respective contributions are not known at this time. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Question EMS Purchases


The recent purchase of jackets for full-time Starke County EMS employees who work “consistent monthly hours” has raised some eyebrows. Director Keith Emigh told the county commissioners Monday the coats have reflective safety strips on them and incorporate the new logo patch recently designed for the service. He adds they are the property of the service and will need to be returned if an employee quits or is fired. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Take Infrastructure Plan Under Advisement

starke-county-courthouseInvestment in infrastructure is critical in order to see future growth in Starke County. That’s the assessment Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver shared with the county commissioners last night. He and Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler jointly presented a five-year strategic infrastructure plan to the body. It includes an overview and timeline of bridge and road projects and justification for plans still on the drawing board. Continue reading

Starke County Council to Consider Ambulance Purchase

starke-county-courthouseStarke County EMS Director Keith Emigh will present three quotes for a replacement ambulance to the county council when they meet this evening. He told the county commissioners two weeks ago the rig at the Grovertown base recently underwent significant repairs and has since lost a cylinder. The county purchased the 2009 Ford truck used. Emigh is also looking into repair costs for the rig. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Pricing Ambulances


Starke County EMS spent nearly $2,000 last month to keep its fleet on the road. Director Keith Emigh told the commissioners Monday night most of that money went toward the truck at the Grovertown base. He says repairs at the county highway garage cost $1,764.10. Additionally an air conditioning problem on the rig based at Knox and a blower motor problem on the North Judson truck had to be fixed. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Consider Personnel Requests Tonight

starke-county-courthouseSeveral items on the agenda for tonight’s Starke County Commissioners meeting pertain to plans for 2016. Tonight’s EMS report includes a request for a pay raise for the director next year. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler will also ask the commissioners to create new employment positions in the 2016 budget. In other personnel matters, the commissioners will also make an employment offer to a candidate for the emergency management agency director position vacated recently by Ted Bombagetti. He resigned from the county to take a position with the state. Continue reading