Starke County officials have opted to do their own lawn maintenance and snow removal at the new jail in an effort to contain costs. On Monday the county council approved the purchase of a mower with a commercial grade deck for the facility. It will be paid for with tax money set aside for construction of the building east of Knox on State Road 8.
Sheriff Bill Dulin obtained three quotes for mowers. The John Deere dealer in Knox offered a price of $6,150 for a John Deere mower. Heinold and Feller in Valparaiso offered a Husqvarna mower and additional power equipment for $6,143, and Culver Power Equipment submitted a bid of $6,708 for a Scag. Smith Farm Store in Knox sells the mowers but doesn’t maintain them and suggested the sheriff contact the vendor in Culver instead. The council discussed the purchase at length and decided the Husqvarna mower was the best value.
Council members also approved Dulin’s request to split the budget line item for the cook and maintenance into separate categories in order to provide greater control of expenses once the new facility opens. An open house is still planned for May 22, with inmates slated to move in June 1.