Today's News

Knox Street Department Keeping Busy

Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Board of Public Works this week that the leaf pick-up program is keeping the employees busy. He added that the department is gearing up for the winter season. The first order of road salt should be placed at the first of December but the supply the city has now is healthy. He said prices jumped 50 percent per ton of road salt over last year’s price. Borg stated that the city should be in good shape and hopes that the weather isn’t as bad as last year.

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Knox Resident Disputes Sewer Bill

Michael Milo disputed his 19 year sewer bill to the members of the Knox Board of Public Works Wednesday morning.

Milo claimed that when he purchased his home at 1306 Pine Street in 1995 he did not know that sewer lines were not hooked up to the city system. He recently learned that a septic system was on his property and he had been billed a sewer bill since he purchased the home even though the lines were not hooked up to the system.

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Knox Crews Gearing up for Winter Season

City_of_Knox_LogoKnox crews are making the transition into the fall and winter seasons.

Street Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Board of Works members this week that crews are prepping the leaf vac for leaf pickup beginning Oct. 14. The street sweeper will be operation for just a little while longer before they need to winterize the machine for storage during the off season.

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Progress Reports Given on Condemned Properties

The Knox Board of Public Works members received an update on two properties that were recently ordered for demolition.

Cleon Wagner presented the board with a statement of a timeline for the clean up of the property at 353 E. Mound Street. Outside work has been done and the building has been sealed. Building Administrator Bruce Williams said he has looked at the foundation in the basement and it looks pretty solid. The Wagners explained that it will be six months or so before all of the work is done, but the building will be remodeled and the property will be cleared of blight.

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Knox Board of Public Works Affirms Demolition Orders on Two Properties

The Knox Board of Public Works heard from Building Administrator Bruce Williams on several properties that are under notice of condemnation.

One property is the old pool business on 10 S. Heaton Street that is just north of the railroad tracks. That building was ravaged by a fire several years ago and poses as a safety hazard. The roof and structure are damaged and it is recommended for demolition. Williams stated that he has not gotten a reply back from the owners concerning a certified letter that was sent. The board members approved a motion to affirm the condemnation order to demolish the building.

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New App Could Assist Schools in an Emergency

The Knox City Police Department is working with Hamlet Police Chief Frank Lonigro in introducing a new app to school corporations for emergency purposes.

Chief Clint Norem told the Knox Board of Public Works members Wednesday morning that Chief Lonigro learned about this app in training and both of them are finding out more information on how to provide the app to the schools that will allow teachers to hit a panic button on their smart phone if there happens to be an emergency.

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Knox Board of Public Works Discusses Drug Testing Policy

The Knox Board of Public Works approved a change in the drug testing policy for employees.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers explained that the policy is outdated. The current policy requires all employees to be drug tested when the state only requires employees with a CDL to be tested. The requirement for all employees to be tested takes time away from their daily duties and the mayor suggested that it’s “overkill”.

Mayor Chambers suggested to the board that an ordinance be drawn up by City Attorney David Matsey that requires prospective employees be drug tested and those with a CDL to be randomly drug tested throughout the year.

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Knox Board of Works to Meet Today

The Knox Board of Public Works will meet today with a light agenda.

The board members will discuss bids for tree cutting and discuss a drug screening policy for employees.

Water Superintendent Todd Gardner, Street Superintendent Jeff Borg, Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons, and Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem will have updates from activities in their departments.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 9:30 a.m. CT in Knox City Hall.

Knox Police Chief Gives Update on New Officer, Computers

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem updated the Board of Public Works members on operations in his department on Wednesday morning.

He said that the new officer’s physical has been completed and that information will be sent to PERF. After that is approved, he can go through the necessary training and he continue as a patrolman on the force.

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Knox Board of Public Works to Meet Today

 

The Knox Board of Public Works will be meeting this morning at 9:30 a.m.

The board members will hear an update from Street Department Superintendent Jeff Borg who will have an update on paving and other projects in his department. Water Superintendent Todd Gardner will have an update on water lines issues and fire hydrant replacement. Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons will also discuss operations at the treatment plant.

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Knox Board of Public Works Open Street Paving Bids

The Knox Board of Public Works members opened bids for street paving this week. The lowest bid came from E&B Paving with $91,992.27 as their bid. The highest bid was from Central Paving for $120,000. The board members agreed to accept the lowest conforming bid pending approval from Street Department Superintendent Jeff Borg and City Attorney David Matsey.

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Knox Board of Public Works Approves Conditional Offer of Employment

The Knox Board of Public Works members approved a conditional offer of employment to a candidate for a position on the Knox City Police Department.

The board members interviewed three candidates: Jacob Berger from Plymouth, Eric Vanderhoff from Rochester and Eric Christianson from Wisconsin. After careful selection, the board unanimously chose Eric Vanderhoff for the conditional offer of employment.

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Concrete Bid Approved for 50/50 Sidewalk Program in Knox

The Knox Board of Public Works members approved a bid for the 50/50 sidewalk program in a special meeting on Thursday morning.

The board approved the lowest conforming bid from Covenant Concrete in the amount of $22,395. That includes all 12 properties and the ADA compliant accessible curbs for properties at 55 E. Lake Street, 53 E. Water Street and 707 S. Shield Street. The city is responsible for paying for the ADA accessible curbs.

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Knox Board of Public Works Opens Sidewalk Bids

The Knox Board of Public Works opened bids Thursday for the 50/50 sidewalk program.

There was no quorum, but the bids will be taken under advisement and awarded at a special meeting on May 15.

Two bids were submitted by Pete Kuchel Concrete and Covenant Concrete. The residences that were submitted for bid include 104 S. Pearl St., 703 S. Pearl St., 307 S. Main St., 604 S. Main Street, 703 Delamatyr, 705 E. Washington St., 707 S. Shield St., 102 Water Street, 402 S. Pearl St., 356 E. Mound, 55 Lake Street and 53 E. Water Street.

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Knox Wastewater Superintendent Obtaining Quotes for Generator

Knox Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons continues to research quotes for a generator for the lift station on Pacific Avenue.

She told the Knox Board of Public Works members that on March 12 a city-wide power outage caused a backup of services at the industrial park. At the time, the lift station there was out of order for 12 hours and while the industry work was able to continue, there was no way to process waste.

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Knox Street Department Superintendent Updates Board of Public Works

 The Knox Board of Public Works received an update on how things are moving along in the street department.

Street Superintendent Jeff Borg said the traffic light seized again at the intersection of Culver Road and Main Street by the Knox Middle School. The light is obsolete and Borg said it’s getting harder and harder to find parts to repair it. At one time, they got all of the parts they could from the South Bend department as they were going to throw them away. Most of their lights are upgraded.

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Water Line Project for New Jail Complete

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E will soon house the new Starke County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

This building on SR 8 at CR 550 E will soon house the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

The Knox Board of Public Works received an update on the water project for the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers said the project should be complete today.

“The weather has finally broken so we have gotten caught up,” explained Chambers. “The contractor has gotten in there and pretty much finished his job. The water line has been de-sanitized and pressure checked. There will be some additional work to be done. The line will have to be moved – it’s been deflected too much so we will go in and correct that problem, but should be up and operational within the next day or so.”

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Knox Board of Public Works Tables Property Discussion

The Knox Board of Public Works members agreed to table discussion on the property located at 409 and 411 Lewis Drive until another time.

The members want to demolish the duplex that is located on those properties. The situation is rather interesting in that the duplex is situated on two different lots and were sold separately in a tax sale. The owner purchased one lot in a previous tax sale and the other half in a more recent tax sale.

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Wastewater, Water Reports Given to Knox Board of Public Works Members

Knox Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons told the Knox Board of Public Works this week that some snow melt and rain water got into manholes around the city and that issue will need to be addressed in the future. Some violations were also noted at the plant which are being remedied. Clemons said they could be fined for the violations, but she hasn’t received any penalties yet.

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