North Judson Town Council Considers Request From Building Inspector

North Judson Building Inspector Jeff Abrams appeared before the town council requesting to establish a permit for gas line inspections when members met Monday.

“When there is a house vacated and the gas has been shut off, Nipsco wants an inspection done so I think that we should be able to charge for that because I have to go out and look at it.” He explained, “They have to do a pressure test it and it has to hold pressure for a day.” Continue reading

Starke County Surveyor Thanks Local Farmers For Stepping Up to Help Out With Flood Response

According to Starke County Surveyor Bill Crase, four breached levees in the Starke County and La Porte County areas have recently been fixed, while work on one site is being postponed due to the current levels of the Kankakee River.

Surveyor Crase explained that while working on the final section of a levee, workers realized that the river wasn’t dropping. He said if they sealed it up, the pressure would have caused the water to burst out elsewhere so they weren’t able to fix it just yet. While they have slowed the breach down a bit, Crase said crews continue to monitor the spot and are waiting for the river to drop before patching it up any further. Continue reading

Save Money on Heating This Winter

Cold temperatures drive heating costs. With the cold snap experienced over the past couple of weeks, heating bills will be high.

NIPSCO suggests setting the thermostat two to four degrees below what you’re used to in order to cut down the heat bill. Change air filters often throughout the season as dirty filters block air causing the furnace to work harder.

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Culver-Union Township Fire Department to Upgrade Lighting

New lighting will be installed at the Culver-Union Township Fire Department.

Fire Chief Terry Wakefield told Culver Town Council members this week that he’s been working for a long time to update the lighting to include LED lights. He said the cost for the 51 lights needed for the project is $7,896.30. NIPSCO will review the work and reimburse the town $80 per light. He said it works with the lighting package they have through NIPSCO.

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Starke County Council, Commissioners to Meet Tonight

The Starke County Council members will consider several fund requests this evening.

They will have a presentation of a refund from NIPSCO and consider transfer requests from the auditor’s office and the clerk’s office. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler will present transfer and additional appropriation requests and the sheriff’s budget will be discussed along with Sheriff Bill Dulin’s requests for fund transfers. The council members will also consider the 2018 salary ordinance and receive information from Starke County Economic Development Foundation Director Charlie Weaver. Continue reading

Knox City Council Votes to Shed Some Light on Reported Darkness Downtown

The downtown area in Knox will be getting a little bit brighter thanks to a decision made by the Knox City Council last night. The council members voted unanimously to approve Mayor Dennis Estok’s request to replace 10 bulbs in the downtown area with new LED bulbs.

Mayor Estok started looking into new lighting options after receiving continuous complaints about the darkness downtown. He has been working with a representative from Herrman and Goetz, discussing the best route to take.

Estok started by installing one bulb on Main Street to have council members weigh in with their opinions. They all agreed that there was a noticeable difference. Estok said now that they know the bulbs are brighter, he wants to test out more in order to see how multiple bulbs would illuminate the area. Continue reading

NIPSCO to Seek Increase in Natural Gas Bills

More than 25 years have gone by since NIPSCO has increased natural gas base rates, but that may change.

NIPSCO along with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission are looking to increase natural gas base rates as the cost to comply with state and federal safety standards has increased. According to a NIPSCO press release, the company has made additional investments in its aging gas system to improve service to 820,000 customers while maintaining more than 17,800 miles of pipelines.

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Free Trees Available to NIPSCO Customers

Did you know strategic tree planting can help conserve energy and reduce energy bills? The Arbor Day Foundation program Energy-Saving Trees is offering 375 free trees to NIPSCO customers to simultaneously assist clients and the environment.

An online tool helps customers estimate the annual energy savings that will result from planting trees in the most strategic location near businesses or residences. The Energy-Saving Trees tool uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated energy savings. Additionally, the tool estimates other benefits including cleaner air and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Continue reading

Starke County Council Creates Fund for Park Donations

You can now make a donation to the Starke County Park Board. While the park board oversees a few different facilities, including the Bass Lake Beach and Campground and the Starke County Forest, it does not have a dedicated funding source from the county government. However, the county council last week created a “special non-reverting park and recreation fund,” designed to let the park board accept “gifts, donations, and subsidies.”

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