Jail site approved by commission

The Starke County Commissioners approved proceeding with the purchase of a new jail site at the corner of Ind. 8 and C.R. 550 E. at a special meeting today. Public comments were heard at the Commission’s regular meeting on Nov. 19. Commissioners took the information under advisement, and scheduled a special meeting for this morning (Tuesday) to make a decision on the project site.
Indiana Code (IC) states that the Commission first approves the site, then the Starke County Council must pass a resolution of the intent to purchase land or a structure. The Council will address the resolution in a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
The IC states the Commission must obtain two professional appraisers to appraise the fair market value of the property, and the purchase price cannot be greater than the average of the two appraisals.
In addition to the appraisals, prior to purchase, the County must survey the property, conduct a Phase 1 environmental study and soil boring, and will pursue first rights of refusal on adjacent property owned by the seller.
Although this is the preferred site, if the appraisals are too low and the price cannot be negotiated, or if there are environmental issues or the soil sampling will not support the new construction, a different site may have to be selected.