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.
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.
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Knox Mayor Rick Chambers explained that the policy is outdated.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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The ordinance pertaining to procedure and fees concerning calls to free frozen water lines will be reviewed by Knox Water Superintendent Todd Gardner with recommendations to be considered by the Knox Board of Public Works. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
The Knox Board of Public Works did not have a quorum but heard reports from department heads on issues Wednesday morning.
Knox Water Superintendent Todd Gardner said about 50 percent of the frozen pipes reported have been thawed and they’re working on more as the days go by. The first section of pipes to freeze was along Spruce Drive and all but one person has water flowing to the residence.
Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg told the Knox Board of Public Works that the department is gearing up for the winter season. While they are still continuing with leaf and brush pick-up, they are getting the trucks ready to plow snow. The salt supply is good and the staff is making sure the plows are properly maintained to tackle what the winter season has to offer.
Wastewater Superintendent Kelly Clemons asked the board to approve a quote to remove ten trees from around the equipment at the wastewater plant. The lowest quote came in from the same company that assisted in the clean-up in Wythogan Park after a wind storm wreaked havoc in the park last year. The quote was for $8,500.
This is the old Knox theater and Starke County Economic Development Foundation location
The Knox Board of Public Works approved change orders for the demolition project at 2 and 4 N. Main Street in the downtown area.
Crews tore down the buildings that housed the old Knox theater and the former office of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. While most of the debris has been cleared, there are a few issues that need to be addressed before inclement weather sets in.
The Knox Board of Public Works received an update on the lift station project at the corner of Clabaugh Drive and Heaton Street (U.S. 35). A small setback was experienced when hatches weren’t installed as instructed by the manufacturer. That required some cement work to be redone and has created a small delay in the project. Selge Construction should be resuming work today.