Easement Paperwork for New Jail Water Lines Hits Snag

Knox City Council
Knox City Council

The Knox City Council discussed an easement agreement for the water project for the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center. The city is putting in water lines that will extend to the property from Henry Drive.

City Attorney David Matsey explained that one of the owners of the property would like to strike a sentence in the agreement which states, “Provided further, that if Owner makes any use of the easement that increases the city operation and maintenance and or restoration costs, then the Owner shall pay for the increase in costs.”

Matsey said that omitting the sentence could cause liability issues down the road. An example used was if the owners planted trees on the easement over the water lines and maintenance on the lines needed to be done, the owner would be liable for the costs in removing the trees to get the maintenance project completed by the city.

In addition, County Attorney Martin Lucas was going to talk to one of the property owners to see exactly what the issue is with the wording of the sentence and attorney Matsey said he hasn’t heard a report from Lucas on what if that discussion had taken place or the outcome of the meeting. He stressed not to omit that sentence for liability purposes.

Councilman Ron Parker made a motion to go ahead and strike the sentence to move the paperwork forward. The motion died for a lack of a second. No other motion was made. The attorney then stated he would talk to Martin Lucas about the issue and bring back information to the council.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the city has not yet been completed between the entities at this time.