The Starke County Commissioners are close to finalizing an agreement with the new owners of Starke Hospital to clear the way for construction of a new building. The county owns the current structure at the corner of Heaton Street and Culver Road in Knox and the land on which is sits, but the hospital is operated by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.
Last night the commissioners approved another 30 day lease extension to wrap up the process. They also set a special joint meeting with the county council and hospital board on Monday, Aug. 29 to formally approve the agreement.
First though Commissioner Kathy Norem intends to schedule three public meetings to discuss the deal and what it will mean for Starke County residents and taxpayers. Her plans are to have evening sessions in Knox, North Judson and the Hamlet/Grovertown area the week of Aug. 22nd. Norem says she’s contacted the three schools to inquire about the availability of facilities and will have dates, times and locations at the next commissioners meeting on Monday, Aug. 15.
Once a new agreement is finalized, Starke Hospital officials intend to proceed with plans to build a new hospital on the existing land. Past discussions indicate it will be constructed between the current building and the medical offices to the south. The current structure will eventually be torn down and turned into a parking lot.