Starke County awarded more than 190 k for debris removal

Starke County was recently awarded $190,140 grant for debris removal on the Yellow River. The grant award was through the Disaster Recovery Act. Starke County Surveyor Dennis Estok says the money is much needed and will be used to remove fallen trees and log jams from the river.
One area of concern runs from the Starke-Marshall County line to U.S. 35 in Knox.
Estok said Starke County is one of the few Indiana counties to apply for and receive this grant.
Estok said removing the obstructions will slow down the erosion of the river banks and prevent the loss of land for the landowners along the river. It will also decrease the chance of flooding in the area and will make the Yellow River a safe, easy to navigate waterway for recreational purposes.
Estok said in addition to the debris removal, they are also working with Christopher Burke Engineering on providing a long-range plan to implement sediment control and bank stabilization along the river, which will prevent further damage.
Estok said the situation at the Knox Park is another area they are working on. He cited the many tragic drowning accidents that have occurred there in the past. "The problem is that the large rocks under the bridge have created a drop off that has essentially created a hole 25 to 30 feet deep, which in turn creates a dangerous undercurrent and conditions which are extremely difficult to swim out of," Estok said.
Estok said that they have begin discussing the situation with both the DNR and INDOT to begin the process of resolving the problem, making the Yellow River a safe and viable waterway and an integral part of the community.
Landowners have been credited by Estok as having played a vital role in securing the grant dollars.
"I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank all the landowners who participated in the income survey. Without them, this grant would not have been possible. Continued communication with the landowners will be critical for the upcoming project," he said.