Starke County Commissioners Finalize Jail Site Selection, Council Decision Pending

Starke County Commissioners

Another step has been completed in the process of building a new Starke County jail as the commissioners yesterday morning decided to proceed with the site across from Sabre Manufacturing on Highway 8 near 550 East.

The commissioners had been looking at four to five sites as possibilities before ultimately deciding on this location. Commissioner Dan Bridegroom voted against the motion and said that the building that his fellow commissioners were in favor of is larger than necessary. He said the extra square footage will result in higher heating and cooling bills, which could add up to an expense of millions of dollars over the years.

Commissioner Jennifer Davis said she was “all for” the location but was not opposed to using an alternative; her main qualm was that she did not want to go through the site selection process again. She said she also had her concerns that the previous site appraisal did not match the asking price for the property; the owner of the property, appraised around $312,000, is asking more than $500,000 for the parcel.

A motion was made and passed 2–1 to proceed with the procedure as if they were purchasing the property, but the council must approve the location as well before the necessary surveys, appraisals, and borings can be performed.

If the county council sides with the commissioners in their approval of the site, the work will get started immediately. The process is expected to take several weeks.