Starke County Commissioners Hit Brakes on Road Improvements

starke-county-courthouseA request for funds to further improve Klockner Drive through the Knox Industrial Park hit a speed bump in Monday’s Starke County Commissioners meeting. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver asked for a significant appropriation from the county economic development income tax fund to rebuild the intersection with Division Road. The project carries an estimated cost of $343,000.

Some money is left over from the State Road 8 and 300 East projects done last year. However, more than $94,000 in new CEDIT money was sought for the project. Weaver says it’s necessary to make the 53 acres of land recently cleared for development attractive to a potential industrial park tenant. He concedes there’s no guarantee a business will locate there if improvements are made but also notes the county won’t get anything without making some investment.

Commissioner Kathy Norem says the county courthouse is in need of serious repairs like tuckpointing, wiring and roof repairs, all of which can be paid for with CEDIT funds. The commissioners asked Weaver to put together a detailed five-year plan for economic development and bring it back to them for consideration. Meanwhile they will get estimates on the cost of repairs to the courthouse before making any decisions.