Starke County Council to Review Officer Pay

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin asked the county council members to review the pay scale for the sheriff’s department.

Sheriff Dulin said he’s losing officers to other departments and the salary offered is not competitive with other departments. In fact, he told the council that he’s lost four officers. He said it’s hard to attract applicants with what he’s able to offer. Dulin mentioned that his department is the lowest paid department in the county and the eighth lowest in terms of competitive salaries in the state.

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Two Starke County Organizations Receive Operation Round up Grants

Two Starke County organizations have been awarded grant funds from the Kankakee Valley REMC Operation Round Up program.

Community Services of Starke County received $3,300 grant to help purchase a computer system that will better serve the organization’s needs and the needs of clients. The organization helps low-income, elderly and disabled citizens in Starke County. Community Services hosts a food pantry, senior activities, meal assistance, and transportation assistance.

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Starke County Commissioners Discuss Document Pertaining to Contaminated Property

 

Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas presented the Starke County Commissioners this week with a document that clarifies disclosure of properties sold in a tax sale.

Lucas said there’s a fine line of tax sale properties being sold at a “buyer beware” condition, but there should be disclosure of known issues. He’s working with Frank Lynch in the health department on this subject as the commissioners recently refunded money in a tax sale as the property was deemed contaminated. The refund was given as a case the commissioners felt warranted the action. Refunds are not common in tax sales.

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Starke County Coroner Seeks Additional Funds

Starke County Coroner Dannie Hoffer approached the Starke County Council Monday night seeking additional funds to help pay autopsy fees.

Hoffer explained that three cases of accidental overdoses have caused additional expenses that his budget doesn’t allow. The cost of an autopsy is $1,600 and sometimes more depending on the forensic pathologist used. Hoffer said he typically uses the service of a forensic pathologist south of Indianapolis as his fee is $1,500 while the fee in South Bend is $3,200 and $2,800 in Fort Wayne.

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Updates on Economic Projects Given to Starke County Government

 

A report given by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation updated the Starke County Council members and Starke County Commissioners on a few projects.

The sale of the Stelrema building on U.S. 35 north of Knox that would become a manufacturing home to the Gary Poppins Gourmet Popcorn company is not yet finalized. According to SCEDF officials, the contract is still on the table, but both sides have not agreed to sign to the terms.

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ADA/Title VI Implementation Plan Presented to Starke County Commissioners

 

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler presented a plan to the Starke County Commissioners this week on updating some ADA requirements in terms of communication.

Ritzler commented that the American Disabilities Act forms on the website are outdated and he’s been in touch with the IT Director to work on getting those forms changed and add some required elements to the website.

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