Starke County will be able to implement plans to pave 123 miles of local roads with asphalt over the next decade without raising taxes, according to Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler. He presented options to the county council Monday. They include using money from the Local Roads and Streets and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds to draw down a maximum three-to-one funding match from the state. Continue reading
Starke County’s truck route ordinance will take effect June 1 following adoption Monday by the county commissioners. It applies to all vehicles with a gross combined vehicle weight of more than 38,000 pounds, which is the same standard the state uses. They are prohibited from using light vehicle routes unless a free permit is issued by the highway department or they qualify for an exemption. Registered farm vehicles, delivery trucks and school buses are exempt. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will consider a proposed heavy truck route ordinance on third and final reading when they meet tonight.
It looks to maximize three-to-one matching money from the state to pave nearly 120 miles of county roads with hot mix asphalt over the next decade.
Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the eventual goal is to have all locations in the county within a mile of a hot-mix asphalt road. Right now Starke County has 10 miles of locally maintained hot mix asphalt roads. Continue reading
Mowing crews from the Starke County Highway Department are making their first pass of the year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners Monday six mowing tractors and two brush choppers are actively clearing rights of way. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler wants to hear from local farmers and over-the-road truck drivers before presenting the final truck route ordinance to the county commissioners for approval.
During a public hearing Monday evening, he stressed farm vehicles will be exempt as long as they have a farm plate issued by the BMV. Continue reading
The number of structurally deficient bridges in Starke County could drop sooner than anticipated thanks to the road funding bill passed by the Indiana General Assembly. It includes money for Community Crossings projects and a three-to-one state match for counties with populations under 50,000. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners will consider a proposed truck route ordinance on second reading when they meet this evening.
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler has been working with a committee comprised of county officials, farmers, Sheriff Bill Dulin and Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver on the policy.
The eventual goal is to have several local hot-mix asphalt roads to accommodate heavy truck traffic in addition to the highways that crisscross Starke County. Ritzler says eventually all locations in the county will be within a mile of such a road. Continue reading
Starke County officials are still refining a proposed truck route ordinance before scheduling a public hearing on the measure.
The measure under consideration restricts routes for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 36,000 pounds to specified county-maintained roads or highways. Continue reading
The Starke County Park Board can now apply for grant funding from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Park Board President Debbie Mix has received notification that the DNR has accepted the board’s five-year plan. That means Starke County is now eligible for grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Continue reading
Winter operations picked up for the Starke County Highway Department last month. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners they had five snow events in March. The most significant occurred on March 15th, with up to 11 inches of snow recorded in a few areas of the county. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners have taken a first step towards adopting a truck route ordinance. It restricts routes for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 36,000 pounds to specified county-maintained roads or highways. Continue reading
Starke County officials hope to leverage money from the state to improve the county’s road infrastructure. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler is working on a long-term truck route proposal, under which all routes in the county would be within a mile of a highway or hot mix road. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler hopes to present a first draft of a proposed heavy truck ordinance for county roads to the commissioners at their April 3 meeting. He’s working with a committee to draft a plan to outline a system of hot mix truck routes for the county. The goal is to have an accessible route within one to two miles of anywhere. Continue reading
Starke County had no snow events in February. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the little bit of snow that fell recently didn’t linger long enough to send plows out. He told the commissioners Monday that translates into big savings for the fuel budget. The Starke County Highway Department used about 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel last month, compared to 12,000 in February of 2016 and 14,000 the previous year. Continue reading
The number of structurally deficient bridges in Starke County is dwindling. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners last night five of the seven bridges are scheduled for repair and completion this year. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department has a replacement schedule for vehicles and heavy equipment. Superintendent Rik Ritzler shared the asset management plan with the commissioners last week. Continue reading
The mild winter should make for a more productive summer for the Starke County Highway Department. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners last week things have leveled off since December in terms of ice and snow. Continue reading
A Starke County civic organization has adopted a section of roadway. Continue reading
Starke County’s bridges are in excellent shape overall based on the latest round of inspections. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners Monday the county has been making steady progress. Continue reading
Starke County’s roads are among the safest in the state based on crash data. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners Monday the statistics are based on the number of miles driven. Continue reading