The Knox Redevelopment Commission approved the release of funds for a couple of project purchases on Wednesday night.
$20-thousand for a previously discussed K-9 police vehicle was distributed by the Redevelopment Commission. The initial request came at the previous Redevelopment Commission meeting in an attempt to split the cost with the City of Knox.
By purchasing a new K-9 vehicle, this one an SUV, the handling officer will be better able to manage the animal while on patrol. The Redevelopment Commission approved the release of the funds, unanimously.
Board members also agreed to release $100-thousand for the purchase of robotics equipment at the Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning Center in Knox. The purchase for the SCILL center includes automation equipment that will be used to train area residents in manufacturing industries.
Knox Mayor Dennis Estok also explained to the board that they may soon be considering the extension of one of the TIF district’s in Knox. The city has two TIF districts, one of which is in the Knox Industrial Park. This maneuver, however, is for the main TIF district – which will include an extension encompassing the parcel of Starke Hospital.
The Redevelopment Commission has a say in the decision. The hospital was not included in the initial extension due to its previous status as a not-for-profit. The hospital, however, was paying property taxes on the land until this point. With the construction of a new hospital under a for profit label at the hospital, the TIF district would capture new development on the hospital owned parcel, but property taxes would be paid at the previous rate.
A decision on a TIF extension will be considered in the near future.