Starke County May Suffer Due to State Grant Timeline Extension

roadworkStarke County was among the first to have the required road and bridge asset management plan and project list ready for the state transportation grant application process. However, they’re still waiting to find out how much 50/50 matching money they will get for road and bridge projects. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners the original June 29th deadline was delayed because a lot of communities didn’t have the required plans together. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Add Road to Inventory

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners have agreed to add a short stretch of roadway to the county’s inventory. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver asked that the 1/6 mile Industrial Parkway north of 500 North in Hamlet be included in the list of county-maintained roads that is sent to the state. Doing so will ensure Starke County gets credit for the roadway when it comes to state funding distribution. Continue reading

Starke County Looks to Expand WorkOne Partnership

 The Starke County Commissioners hope to expand their success with a WorkOne job training program to other departments within county government. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler was the first to take advantage of the agency’s offer of free help to teach young people so-called “soft skills” like showing up to work on time, following directions and adhering to a schedule. WorkOne pays the employees to hone their job skills, and there is no cost to the county. Continue reading

Truck Route Implementation Moves Forward

Knox Truck OrdinanceThe GPS systems used by over-the-road truck drivers should soon be updated to reflect the truck routes in Knox and North Judson. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver told the county commissioners last night 26 separate GPS providers have accepted the revised routes, but he doesn’t have an implementation schedule just yet. Continue reading

Council to Discuss Additional Transportation Funds

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Council will consider a proposal from the highway superintendent with regard to additional state transportation funds when they meet this evening. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler assembled a road funding committee to discuss options for the one-time appropriation from the state. He also hopes to come up with the required local match to draw down additional funds in order to free up $1 million for additional uses throughout the county over the next five years. Continue reading

WorkOne, Starke County Highway Department Team Up to Offer Worker Training

 Young people looking to gain work experience will have an opportunity to do so this summer after action Monday night by the Starke County Commissioners. They approved a partnership between the county highway department and the local WorkOne office. County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says it will give young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in high school or college a chance to learn “soft skills” like arriving at work on time and showing up for scheduled shifts. Continue reading

Starke County Officials Finalize Truck Routes

Knox Truck OrdinanceTrucks heading to and from the Knox Industrial Park will have to use State Road 8 for access from all directions. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver met recently with Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler to discuss truck routes. Ritzler says neither County Road 300 East south of Culver Road nor County Road 200 South, which connects to U.S. 35 near Kem-Co, are rated for excessive truck traffic. Continue reading

Knox Council Discusses Truck Route GPS Updates

Knox Truck OrdinanceMaking necessary updates to GPS systems to reflect truck routes is a more involved process than City of Knox and Starke County officials initially realized. Last month Knox started enforcing its truck route ordinance, which prohibits through traffic weighing more than 10 tons with more than three axles from using Culver Road and other surface streets to get from U.S. 35 to the Knox Industrial Park on 300 East/Klockner Drive. Continue reading