Today's News

Knox City Council to Consider Dumpster Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members will soon be putting together a dumpster ordinance.

Several complaints have been received concerning the placement and longevity of dumpsters at a locations throughout the city. The council members will fashion an ordinance that is suited to the needs of the city to regulate the use of the containers.

City Attorney David Matsey gave the council members a comprehensive draft of an ordinance that he put together using information from several different ordinances from different municipalities. He urged all of the members to look through the document and select items that may be relevant to the city. They will look at paring down the language at the council’s next meeting on Monday, Nov. 10.

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Knox City Council Discusses 2015 Budget

 The Knox City Council members discussed the 2015 budget during their meeting Tuesday night.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the budget reflects a 2.44 percent increase in appropriations. He said he hopes that it comes within the maximum levy which is the maximum amount that can be raised through property taxes.

Houston said the council members will need to make cuts to the budget in 2015.

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City of Knox Receives Blight Elimination Program Grant

City_of_Knox_LogoThe City of Knox is the recipient of a grant from the Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program. Eleven applicants in Division Six were awarded grants totaling $3.7 million.

The City of Knox will receive $187,000.

The Blight Elimination Program provides an opportunity for local units of government to compete for money available to prevent avoidable foreclosures through the removal of blighted, vacant and abandoned homes. In February of this year, the U.S. Department of Treasury approved the use of $75 million of Indiana’s Hardest Hit Funds by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for successful Blight Elimination Program applicants.

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Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will meet tonight where the members will continue in a discussion with the usage of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox by area churches.

At the last city council meeting, the members discussed drafting a memorandum of understanding for Deb McIntire and the churches to sign to make sure that all entities are on the same page regarding the intention and use of the building. That document is expected to be presented tonight. All churches involved would need to provide a certificate of insurance to the city.

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Knox High School Students Plan Community Project

Forty Knox High School senior English students have decided to pool their dreams in a unique project using the skills learned in their classrooms, such as research, writing, construction, marketing, and computer knowledge to develop a vacant Knox downtown lot into an inviting, landscaped, park-like area.

Hoping to coordinate those dreams with the Knox City Council and the Park Board, the enterprising kids are planning a gazebo, maybe a pergola, benches, a picnic table or two, and other improvements.

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Knox City Council Discusses Budget Pilot Program Analysis

 The Knox City Council members received information about the budget this week from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston.

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.

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Knox Officer Requests Mutual Aid Agreement to Join Pulaski County SWAT Team

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.

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Knox City Council Discusses Community Center Use for Community Meals

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

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.

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Knox City Council to Consider Community Center Use

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

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.

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City of Knox Receives Thanks from WoodStarke Representatives

woodstarkeThe Knox City Council members received praise from the WoodStarke representatives this week for their support of the first festival of its kind on Sept. 13.

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.

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Knox City Council Entertains Request to Purchase Parkview Property

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

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.

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Knox City Council Tables Discussion on Use of Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

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.

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Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

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.

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Knox City Council Reschedules Budget Public Hearing

 The Knox City Council will have the public hearing on the 2015 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

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.

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Knox City Council to Move Forward with Refinancing Water Bonds

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

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.

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Knox City Council Tables Community Center Use Request

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

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.

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Fire Marshal to Investigate Factory Fire, City Council Praise Efforts of Firefighters

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.

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Knox City Council Approves Grant Match for Blight Elimination Program Grant

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

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.

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