The Starke County Commissioners will resume their discussion of whether to offer Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler a long-term contract when they meet this evening. His is one of the jobs that is appointed annually by the commissioners. President Jennifer Davis is leading the charge to change that. She says doing so would ensure the long-range plan Ritzler has in place for road and bridge improvements is carried out. Making the change requires a unanimous vote of the commissioners. Kathy Norem is in favor of offering Ritzler a long-term contract, but fellow commissioner Kent Danford is not. He said in a previous meeting it could open a “can of worms.”
The intersection of State Road 8 and Starke County Road 300 East now has turn lanes, guardrails, acceleration and deceleration lanes. Members of the Starke County Council, County Commissioners and Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors celebrated the completion of the project with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Monday morning.
“This was extremely dangerous before for trucks and motor vehicles to come to pass. They couldn’t make the turns. If a truck wanted to go toward 35 from 300, they crossed both travel lanes into the berm,” Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said. Continue reading
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
The Starke County Council will adopt budgets for several taxing units when they meet this evening. Their advance meeting agenda includes adoption of the county budget for the upcoming year as well as those for the Starke County Airport, Starke County Solid Waste and North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. Continue reading
Starke County’s Park Board is now fully populated. Judge Kim Hall named Mike Meadows and Skyler Ellinger to the five-member panel. They join Starke County Council appointees Debbie Mix and Rosemary Rose and Starke County Commissioners appointee Marsha Bedrock. Continue reading
The Starke County Park Board is two members away from being populated. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall is responsible for appointing a Democrat and a Republican to the five-member board. He advised WKVI News he is still reviewing the qualifications of potential members and expects to make a decision soon. Continue reading
The Starke County Council and Commissioners are expected to make their appointments to the county park and recreation board at their respective meetings this evening. The council gets two appointments, one Democrat and one Republican. The commissioners get one appointment, and it is not restricted by political party affiliation. Continue reading
Starke 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
The 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
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
Starke 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
The 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
Starke County business owners who pay the inkeepers tax will now send their money to the county instead of to the state.
That’s one of the changes made recently by the county council. That new policy takes effect on Sept. 1, 2014. Notices will be mailed to affected taxpayers advising them of the changes.
The tax rate is not changing, but the penalties for non-compliance have been increased significantly. Failure to pay the tax timely will result in a 100-percent penalty.
The year-round campsite leases at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground run afoul of the guidelines under which the state turned the property over to the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund does not allow for permanent enclosed structures like campers to be placed on public campsites. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis advised Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, that the practice will no longer be allowed. Continue reading
Members of the North Judson Town Council will meet Thursday, July 31 at 8 a.m. at the community center to work on the 2015 budget. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry says that meeting is open to the public. The initial hearing on the spending proposal will take place Monday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. at the community center. A final adoption date has not been set yet pending a non-binding review by the Starke County Council. That’s new this year and will take place sometime in October. Starke County is part of a pilot program for that process.
Starke County now has a parks and recreation board. The Starke County Council established the body to oversee amenities like the Bass Lake Beach and Campground, Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational areas. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will have some pointed questions for Bass Lake Beach and Campground Manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, when they meet tonight. They attend the evening meetings each month and give a management report. During the July 7 commissioners meeting, several residents complained about the conditions at the beach and campground over the Independence Day weekend. Continue reading
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board has revised its budget adoption calendar. The corporation was selected as part of a state pilot program and as a result cannot adopt a budget until Oct. 15. The Starke County Council will conduct a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 18 on the school corporation’s general, debt, pension and transportation funds. The next day the school board will meet in special session to adopt the 2015 Capital Projects Fund and Bus Replacement Plan. Continue reading
Starke County Council members want more information about costs associated with setting up a park board before agreeing to do so. Tony Radkiewicz chairs the county park board committee, which was set up to gather information. Their proposed mission statement indicates there will not be a cost to the county to provide oversight to Bass Lake Beach and Campground, the Starke County Forest and other publicly dedicated lands not under municipal control. The board would be comprised of volunteer members with a personal interest in parks and recreation and a desire to be proactive in service to the community. Continue reading
Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen has the county council’s permission to buy two new patrol cars. Funds for one vehicle will come from from the county’s cumulative capital development fund. The other will be paid for from the commissioners’ EDIT fund. The county has agreed to spend up to $30,000 each on the vehicles, with the rest of the money to come from the sheriff’s commissary account. Continue reading