North Judson Town Council Members Choose to Consolidate Railroad Insurance Payments

North Judson Town Council members will save some money on their railroad insurance payments after approving a recommendation made by Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe at their meeting last week.

Rowe first brought this idea up when the payments began but he did some additional research on the payment methods and coordinated with President Wendy Hoppe about the matter prior to bringing the suggestion before the council. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Addresses Un-Cashed Checks

At the North Judson Town Council meeting Monday night, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted members that there are several un-cashed checks on the books that go back several years.

Rowe mentioned that on all checks dispersed by the town, it states that they can be receipted back if they haven’t deposited after 2-years. Clerk-Treasurer Rowe said after speaking to the State Board of Accounts about the matter, the plan is to receipt all checks back into the town.

However, there was one check for Fire Captain Eric Wappel from 2015 that was apparently lost. Rowe was seeking to reimburse Wappel for the fire pay he never deposited. Continue reading

Town of North Judson Takes Over for Hoosier Valley With Omega Railway Management Correspondence

All communications with the railway management company Omega will now go through the town of North Judson rather than Hoosier Valley Railroad, according to Town Council President Wendy Hoppe.

Hoppe explained that Omega is the company responsible for the billing and collection services for residents who utilize anything that runs under the town’s railroad, “Anything that runs underneath, be it an irrigation line, be it a power line, be it a drainage tile.” Hoppe said, “Omega was billing them and taking care of all that.”

At the last few North Judson town council meetings, President Hoppe mentioned that she was contacted by a couple of different local farmers in the North part of town who reported very steep increases in their rates. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Alerts Town Council Members of $6,000 Insurance Policy Premium Increase

When the North Judson Town Council met Tuesday evening, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted town council members that the town’s insurance policy premium increased from $56,000 in 2017 to about $62,000 for this year.

Rowe said he has recently been working with Christin Romine, an insurance accountant executive with 1st Source Bank in order to familiarize himself with the town’s history and current policy. He explained that after talking with her, he found that a large factor for the increase is the amount of claims that the town filed over the last few years.

Council President Wendy Hoppe recalled that in 2015, within the span of a few months they lost three police vehicles, including a Dodge Charger and two Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Make Additional Appointments and Agree to Advertise for Open Positions

North Judson Town Council members voted unanimously to retain Wendy Hoppe as the town council president when they met Tuesday night.

As a part of their new bylaws, members also needed to establish a vice president. Councilman John Rowe was nominated and council members collectively agreed to appoint him to the position. Members also voted to retain Justin Schramm as their town attorney.

Additionally, members discussed remaining appointments. Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe will serve as the town representative for Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission and Wendy Hoppe volunteered to serve on the Rail Road Committee. Continue reading

Cumulative Railroad Revenue Fund Established During NJ Town Council Meeting

During the North Judson Town Council meeting last night, board members approved an ordinance establishing a cumulative railroad revenue fund for future payments from the railroad company and to transfer the money from the existing railroad capital improvement fund.

In the settlement agreement between the Town of North Judson and Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company (CKIN), it was arranged that the town will receive quarterly payments from the railway operator based on and coinciding with railroad traffic. A fund needed to be established in order to put those payments somewhere under the new agreement. Continue reading

Surface Transportation Board Rules in North Judson’s Favor

The ongoing dispute between the Town of North Judson and Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company has put the brakes on the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum’s excursions past English Lake. Photo provided

An attempt by the Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company (CKIN) to force the town of North Judson to sell its rail line has been rejected by the Surface Transportation Board.

CKIN operated the short-line railroad under an arrangement with the town for 10 years. Their agreement also allowed the North Judson-based Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum to operate excursion trains on the line. Continue reading

North Judson Officials Move Into New Town Office Building

The North Judson Town Hall is now located in the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street.
The North Judson Town Hall is now located in the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street.

The North Judson Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and Water Department are settling into their new space. The town offices are now located in the former bank building at 310 Lane Street. First Farmers Bank and Trust donated the structure to the town last year. Continue reading

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Contributes Matching Funds for North Judson Railroad Project

North Judson Water TowerThe Town of North Judson has more than half of the matching funds needed for an INDOT Transportation Enhancement Project Grant. They’ve applied for $512,066 from the state to replace railroad ties along the town’s rail line. A 20-percent local match of 102,413.20 is required.

During this week’s town council meeting, Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Secretary and Railroad Committee Advisory Member Mark Knebel presented a check to the town from HVRM for $51,015 toward the match and some supplemental work. The town of North Judson has also received $15,000 from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation towards the local match. Continue reading

Residents Urged to Take Steps to Keep Pipes from Freezing


The combination of temperatures below freezing and sub-zero wind chills means an increased likelihood of frozen pipes unless precautions are taken. These include leaving cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks open so warm air can circulate around pipes and insulating them with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation sleeves or wrapping. Both can be purchased at a hardware store, or a plumber can do it for you. Cracks in outside walls or foundations should also be caulked to keep cold air away from pipes. Also skirting around mobile homes that is missing or has fallen off should be replaced to keep cold air from circulating under the dwelling. Continue reading

North Judson Spring Brush Pickup Scheduled This Week

North Judson Water TowerSpring brush pickup is scheduled this week in North Judson. Brush piles need to be placed along the edge of the alleyway by 7 a.m. on Monday, May 5. Residents who do not have an alleyway should pile their brush along the street curb. This pickup is for brush only, not for leaves. Utility crews will not be able to return once they finish picking up brush on a particular street or from an alley. Residents are welcome to haul brush, grass and leaves to the town dump site. The key is available at the town water department office during business hours, which are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office closes for lunch from noon until 1 p.m. daily.