The city, along with all other taxing entities in Starke County, is part of a pilot program with the state this year. A meeting was held on Oct. 6 where a state analysis was reviewed. Houston said the county then provided the city with a non-binding recommendation. The city could face a huge cut in 2015.
The Knox City Council members considered a request to add an officer from the Knox City Police Department to the Pulaski County SWAT team.
Officer Chad Dulin explained to the council members Tuesday night that he is interested in being a part of the team to help with response time in the case of a call out and for the training he can gain. He can share any tactical information with his fellow officers and it can be a refresher course at the same time.
The Knox City Council members discussed the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center for free community meals to be prepared and served by church members without paying the rental fee.
Deb McIntire proposed the idea where she explained that it is her goal to get members from eight churches on board to prepare the meals at home and to serve them at the community center. Volunteers will be setting up the room, serving food for a couple of hours and then clean the room used.
The Knox City Council members will meet tonight where they will resume a conversation pertaining to the use of the Nancy J. Denbowski Community Center by church groups to serve free meals without paying the rental fee.
The request to host the meals was made several months ago by Deb McIntire who explained in a letter to Mayor Rick Chambers that different church groups would cook and serve meals in the community center for the general public. The center would be used one day a week for four hours.
The city was presented a thank you note for their efforts. The festival featured local artists, local music, HealthLinc’s mobile dental unit, a cornhole tournament, dance and exercise classes, a Moving Starke County Forward One Mile at a Time walk and a county-wide scavenger hunt.
It was noted during the Knox City Council meeting this week that some “for sale” and political signs are illegally placed in the city.
All signs should be placed inside the boundaries of private property.
The Knox City Council heard a request from a homeowner on Giles Court in the Parkview area about buying the trailer and lot in the amount of $4,500.
Destiny Breeze previously offered the property for $6,500, but the council denied the request. She was back before the council Tuesday night with an offer she thought was fair, but Councilman Greg Matt said a similar transaction the city completed was at an even cheaper price. The city would have to demolish the dwelling as well as an outbuilding which means more money spent by the city.
The Knox City Council members tabled discussion on the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center for free meals catered by local church groups.
The request was made by Deb McIntire who offered the idea that the community center be used one day a week for four hours to prepare and serve free meals. The members of different churches would take turns each week and clean up afterwards.
The Knox City Council members will meet in regular session tonight where they will discuss the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center by area churches for free meals.
The council entertained the request at a meeting in September but tabled approval until more information was obtained about cost and liability.
The Knox City Council held the public hearing for the 2015 budget last night.
The city advertised a $2.8 million budget which is a little less than what it was last year.
There were no citizens in the audience that commented on the budget and the hearing concluded.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the council members this week that the date was modified from its original calendar date due to an error in the publication. Houston said he notified the Department of Local Government Finance and they are aware of the change and approved it. The budget needed to be re-advertised for two weeks which has caused the delay in the public hearing.
The Knox City Council will be considering refinancing the water bonds to save money over the life of the bonds.
Mayor Rick Chambers explained how much the city could save each year of the life of the bonds.
“We’re currently paying on two water bonds. The first one will be paid off in 2025 and we owe about $650,000 on that one. The second one will be paid off three years later in 2028 and we owe about $950,000 on that one – so, about $1.6 million. Right now we’re paying 4.75 percent interest on one and almost five on the other. Umbaugh believes we re-bond in the low threes. Over the life of 14 years, we could save about $150,000,” explained Chambers.
The Knox City Council members held discussion on the use of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center by area church groups.
The request was to use the facility free of charge once a week to provide enough space to serve meals to community members in need. The great room or executive room would be used along with the kitchen in order to prepare the meals for service. A different church group would use the facility once a week to host the meals and four hours would be set aside for preparation, service and clean-up.
An investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office will be in Knox tomorrow to determine the cause of the fire at Standard Pallet on 300 East on Friday. Firefighters from four different fire departments were on the scene for nine hours to ensure that the fire was extinguished.
On Tuesday night, the Knox City Council members expressed their gratitude to the firefighters for their dedication to the safety of the citizens of Knox. It was noted that the firefighters are volunteers and it’s their life and time they put on the line to respond to a fire and to assist the needs of residents. Some firefighters made sure to notify employers of the situation last week and stayed on the scene to make sure that the area was secure before leaving.
The Knox City Council approved a 10 percent match to attempt to get a grant to rid the city of some unsafe homes.
It’s part of the Blight Elimination Program which would assist the city in purchasing homes that are listed as unsafe and blighted and demolish them. The majority of the homes that would be considered for this grant are in the Parkview Heights area.
The Knox City Council will discuss a 10 percent match from the city to go toward a $180,000 grant in the Blight Elimination Program.
A match and commitment letter will be considered by the council tonight.
The grant will assist the city with identifying unsafe or abandoned properties to be acquired by the city, estimating the costs of any project, and preparation of the application for funding and developing a strategy.
The Harvest Festival in Knox has an organizer for 2015.
Paula Voss approached the Knox City Council last week and offered to take on the popular festival. She noted that it will be held the same weekend as in the past and she’s already in contact with vendors to revive the three-day event in downtown Knox.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the budget process has been pushed back a bit due to a pilot program with which the county is involved.
Knox Park Superintendent George Byer gave an update to the Knox City Council members last night on the state of the city’s parks.
Byer said since the vandalism has tapered off a bit, the park crews have been able to work in Heritage Park. They’ve installed a bench, a swing set, teeter-totter, and rehabilitated the monkey bars. Water Superintendent Todd Gardner will be helping the park department with running a line for a water fountain at the park. The board has plans to build a shelter at the park next year.
The Knox City Council members will meet tonight at 7 p.m. CT at Knox City Hall.
The council will move forward with the 2015 budget calendar and discuss the 2015 budget tonight in a public session. Mayor Rick Chambers and Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston will have a report and members of the public are welcome to share comments during this meeting.