Today's News

Knox City Council Members Discuss Tall Grass Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members were presented with changes to the ordinance pertaining to the removal of weeds and other rank vegetation.

One change would amend the administrator of the notices to the Knox Board of Public Works instead of the clerk-treasurer’s office. Another change amends the way the notices are delivered. The notices don’t have to be sent by certified mail anymore which would cut down on expenses. The letter may be sent by first class mail to the owner or an officer with the police department can deliver it.

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Knox Water Line Project to Close Road in Front of Post Office

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers updated the city council members last night about a water line project in front of the U.S. Post Office that is expected to that road for today only.

Street department crews, water department crews and sewer department crews will tackle the project on Washington Street between Shield Street and Portland Street. Mayor Chambers said Water Superintendent Todd Gardner believes this will help decrease the freezing pipe issues in that area.

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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 have discussions on the tall grass ordinance and the 2015 salary ordinance.
Mayor Rick Chambers told the council at the last meeting that he has sent several letters to residents concerning rank vegetation and the ordinance will be reviewed tonight for changes.

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Loose Ends Remain with Water Line Project

The Knox City Council last week received an update on the Henry Drive water extension project.

Mayor Rick Chambers stated that while the project is complete there are several loose ends that need to be tied.

“The Henry Drive water line is complete. The street has been paved and one homeowner was not happy with the way his yard was left and I’ll take care of that. Territorial Engineering is still working with Milo to move that original water line because the water superintendent didn’t like the way it was placed. Territorial will be paying that bill. They want to wait until later on this summer when the water levels drop a little bit. That will be taken care of,” explained Chambers.

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Notices Sent to Knox Residents for Unkept Vegetation

 Officials from the city of Knox have sent out notices to several residents who have failed to keep vegetation at a manageable level on their property within city limits.

An ordinance states that “the owners of real property in the city shall cut and remove weeds and other rank vegetation growing on their property. The term “property” includes a parkway, that non hard-surfaced area laying between a sidewalk and a street, lane or roadway.”

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Knox City Council Discusses Property Acquisitions

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council agreed to wait on a request to acquire a property in Parkview Heights.

Mayor Rick Chambers got a call from a resident who stated she inherited a trailer from her father’s estate and she moved into it but no longer wants it. She wants to sell the trailer and the property to the city.

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Knox Council Members to Discuss Proposed Acquisition of Gateway Property

Two members of the Knox City Council agreed to be on a committee to discuss the proposed acquisition of the Gateway property.

Discussions were held previously to enter into an agreement to transfer title of land and improvements of the Gateway property to the city of Knox. The property includes the depot, the watchman’s tower, the Nickel Plate signal tower and tracks. The depot is home to the Starke County Visitor’s Center and Starke County Chamber of Commerce. A house on West Water Street would also be part of the agreement.

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Final Action Taken on Outdoor Storage Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council had final action on the outdoor storage ordinance last night.

The Knox plan commission members met on June 3 and discussed the city council’s recommendation on adding wording to allow a business to go before the board of zoning appeals and request a special use variance for outdoor displays. The council members felt that the ordinance was a blanket ordinance and businesses are different in how they operate so that could be an option for those businesses.

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Knox City Council to Revisit Outdoor Storage Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council members will again be discussing the outdoor storage ordinance during their meeting tonight.

The ordinance was sent back to the Knox Plan Commission after the council’s last meeting. The council members thought that the ordinance was like a blanket ordinance and didn’t fit each business as they are different in the way they operate. The council wanted wording to allow for a business owner to go before the Knox Board of Zoning Appeals to request a special use for outdoor storage at their business as each case is different.

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Knox City Council Reviews Tax Abatement Paperwork for Hoosier Custom Plastics

 The Knox City Council reviewed Hoosier Custom Plastics’ compliance papers for tax abatement purposes.

Starke County Economic Development Executive Director Charlie Weaver spoke on behalf of the company since the owners were busy at a trade show to promote the business.

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Knox City Council Takes Final Action on Outdoor Storage Ordinance

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The two-year long discussion on the outdoor storage ordinance in the city of Knox could come to a close soon.

The Knox City Council voted last night to reject the plan commission’s outdoor storage ordinance as it doesn’t have wording to allow for special use.

The council members were not settled on a certain setback of an outdoor display at a business. The 25-foot setback was what needed to be changed and the council members were trying to decide the best way to go about that change.

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Knox City Council to Meet in Special Session

The Knox City Council will meet in regular session tonight where the council members will once again look at the outdoor storage ordinance that has come back from the plan commission.

Building Commissioner Bruce Williams told WKVI that the ordinance has not changed from what the council previously reviewed. Knox Mayor Rick Chambers told the council members at their last meeting that same thing and it just has to have final action.

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Knox City Council Approves Burn Permit

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council last night discussed a proposed burn permit to clear timber from the Industrial Park in Knox for expansion purposes.

Bob Aloi from Territorial Engineering explained the process of the air curtain that will be used at the site so smoke won’t be an issue. He said the contractor, Thomas Excavating, will dig a hole that will not exceed ten feet wide and an apparatus will be used to help circulate the air so the particles and smoke will not be seen so permeate into the air.

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Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council will meet in regular session tonight at Knox City Hall.

The council members are expected to discuss a burn permit for the purpose of ridding timber in the Knox Industrial Park. The approval was tabled at the last meeting as the council members wanted to hear about the project from the contractor, Thomas Excavating, and get more public input on the issue.

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Circuit Breaker Cuts Money from Knox City Budget

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the city council last week that the budget was approved, but with the circuit breaker, they will be receiving $218,000 less so cuts will need to be made wherever possible.

Property tax caps are cutting funds available to the city and county. Houston noted that while the property owners are seeing relief in their taxes, it’s causing severe belt tightening at the local level which hurts services. There’s only a few ways the city can collect money by the city and raising taxes is not in the best interest of the council.

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Knox City Council Gets Update on Industrial Park Projects

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council received an update on the 300 East construction project in the Industrial Park.

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Director Charlie Weaver said that bids were opened in March for the reconstruction of the intersection of State Road 8 and County Road 300 East. The southern part of the intersection will be reconstructed.

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Knox City Council Discusses Proposed Burn Permit, Tables Action

The Knox City Council tabled burn permit request from IDEM and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF).

SCEDF Director Charlie Weaver explained that several trees need to be felled in three sites covering 32.8 acres in the industrial park and in order to economically rid the area of the timber debris it would be burned. The area left would be seeded with a portion left for greenspace and the other for economic development. Plans to expand industry and to create jobs is in the future thinking of the development foundation.

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Jail Water Line Delay Potentially Costs County $29,000

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 Starke County Building Corporation may have been able to save $29,000 had the water line extension from Henry Drive east to the new Starke County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center been finished by its April 1 deadline.

The existing water lines to the building on State Road 8 at County Road 550 East are not wide enough to provide enough pressure should the building catch on fire. The county and city opted last fall to run new lines to the facility and contract the work out. The Knox City Council accepted a bid from Mark Milo Enterprises to do the work.

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