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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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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Starke County Council, Commissioners to Meet Tonight

 

Newly installed Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary will be before the Starke County Council tonight to discuss a transfer request and an amendment to the 2017 salary ordinance. Starke County Coroner Dannie Hoffer will present an update on autopsy fees, the annual Starke County Economic Development Foundation monthly report will be given as well as an appropriation for SCILL and the council members will set a date for the county budget workshop.

The Starke County Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. CT.

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Starke County Highway Superintendent Elaborates on Road Funding

Starke County will be able to implement plans to pave 123 miles of local roads with asphalt over the next decade without raising taxes, according to Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler. He presented options to the county council Monday. They include using money from the Local Roads and Streets and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds to draw down a maximum three-to-one funding match from the state. Continue reading

Starke County Truck Route Ordinance Set for Adoption Tonight

The Starke County Commissioners will consider a proposed heavy truck route ordinance on third and final reading when they meet tonight.

It looks to maximize three-to-one matching money from the state to pave nearly 120 miles of county roads with hot mix asphalt over the next decade.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the eventual goal is to have all locations in the county within a mile of a hot-mix asphalt road. Right now Starke County has 10 miles of locally maintained hot mix asphalt roads. Continue reading