Starke County Receives $503,000 Grant to Improve Access to Knox Industrial Park

Back Row: Greg Matt, Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Donald Kring, City Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

Congressman Joe Donnelly has announced that the Board of Commissioners of Starke County received a $503,000 grant to improve access to the Knox Industrial Park, an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant will partially fund the State Road 8 and County Road 300 East intersection project.

Charles Weaver, Executive Director of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, remarked that this is half of the over $1 million project. Weaver talked about the rest of the funding, as he made the announcement Tuesday night at the Knox City Council meeting.

“The balance is being paid for by the County Commissioners Fund and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation,” explained Weaver. “The County Commissioners Fund is for $400,000 and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation portion is $104,000.”

Weaver said the project has already begun.

“We’ve actually begun preliminary work on the project. We’ve engaged Cardno JFNEW to make the improvements as far as the environmental issues are concerned. They have sub-contracted with Banner Engineering to do the flood-way permit.”

Weaver told what will happen during the project work.

”What will happen is the ditch there will be moved a bit south, which is the DNR’s request. There will be essentially very little “take”, if any. They will widen that point out so trucks can pass.”

Weaver also said this will provide for improved truck and delivery access to the Starke County Rail Park in Knox, and greatly improve the prospects of attracting additional industry to this area.

“From an economic development perspective, it is a giant win for Starke County,” added Weaver.