Starke County Sheriff Requests Increase in Fees for Services

Sheriff Oscar Cowen
Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen approached the Starke County Commissioners on Monday to look into the possibility of increasing fees for some of the services they provide. Currently, Starke County charges significantly less for services compared to other counties in the area, and Cowen feels that implementing new fees and raising current prices could help with budget problems they’ve been experiencing.

“We found out by checking with surrounding counties that we charge a lot less for paper process serving, background checks, a lot of other services that we provide for the county. So we asked for the county attorney just to check into it and see what we can start charging,” said Cowen.

Currently, there is only a $60 charge related to out-of-state paper process serving, while other counties charge at least $73. Cowen also mentioned that we don’t currently charge a fee for background checks, and he feels that this could be a potential source of income. There is currently a private company in Marshall County that collects a fee, and a small charge, such as $40, would be very helpful financially.

County Attorney Martin Lucas will be looking into the possibility of increasing fees and implementing new fees for various services provided by the police department.

Cowen also requested the Commissioners to allow him to purchase two new vehicles, but because of budget issues, they only approved the purchase of one squad car. The Commissioners are usually able to approve two vehicles per year, but that was not the case this year. The car to be purchased will likely be a Dodge Charger because of its relatively low price.

“Well we try not to keep a car more than four years because they really start wearing down after four years of continuous service with the police department, and so we have cars now that are six years old and we’re just trying to get those replaced,” said Cowen.