Starke County Council Tables Payment to U.S. 30 Coalition

The Starke County Council members want more information about what will be offered to Starke County in the proposed U.S. 30 freeway project before they pay $10,000 toward consultation fees for coalition efforts.

Councilman Dave Pearman asked Larry Wickert from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation about the payment as it was requested. The funds would come out of the commissioner’s County Economic Development Income Tax Fund. Wickert explained that six out of the seven counties involved in the proposed U.S. 30 project pay into the coalition. La Porte County is the only county that doesn’t pay. Wickert believes that U.S. 30 would stay rural in La Porte County and not see an impact. The county has the toll road for a focus.

The members of the U.S. 30 coalition have met several times to discuss how a proposed freeway would benefit Starke County. Pearman doesn’t want Starke County to “get the short end of the stick” in the process as he says there is plenty of agriculture opportunities and industry with the industrial park in Hamlet that would access Starke County off of U.S. 30. He specifically noted the Sysco property that is currently for sale on the west side of town.

Pearman said he supports the coalition, but he just wants more information.

Wickert and Pearman will be sitting down to discuss what the U.S. 30 coalition has to offer Starke County. In the meantime, Pearman made a motion to table the request until the council’s March meeting so more information could be obtained. The motion was seconded by Councilman Freddie Baker and all members voted in favor of the action.