News Tagged ‘Knox City Council’
The Knox City Council last night approved an agreement with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation in relation to the demolition and clearing of the buildings at 2 and 4 N. Main St. The SCEDF, in accordance with a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, has committed itself to paying all local costs required of the city of Knox to demolish the buildings, costing the city nothing.
Cleanup efforts at the old Knox laundromat continue as the Knox City Council this week heard an update from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston who explained the contractor is still hauling out washers, dryers, and scrap from the old building. However, while the cleanup efforts can continue during the winter, Mayor Rick Chambers said the city will have to wait for warmer weather before completing the demolition. He said he’s hopeful that the building can be removed without damaging the nearby trees.
The Knox City Council this week approved two budget reductions in response to cuts from the state. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that two city budgets suffered from cuts at the state level: the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, with a balance of $413,131, was cut by $24,536; and the Park Department’s budget was also cut by $11,135 for a total budget amount of $146,358.
Continuing her efforts to raise awareness of the health problems in the county and the newly-formed coalition, “Moving Starke County Forward,” former state representative Nancy Dembowski appeared before the Knox City Council asking them to proclaim 2013 a “Year of Health” for the city of Knox.
Dembowski explained that because the county had come in second-to-last place for health rankings in the state, she said it’s time to see what can be done to improve health in Starke County. She said that a proclamation from all county governments would help spread the word, and she said the organization is also planning a number of county-wide health contests. On top of that, Dembowski said the group is hoping to hold a drug symposium in the spring to raise awareness of the harmful effects of drugs.
An ongoing dispute in the city administration for Knox has left one office empty, as former Planning Commissioner Greg Matt was not re-elected to his position. Worse, the Planning Commission and Mayor Rick Chambers are at odds as to who elects the planning commissioner – Chambers said he believes the planning commissioner is a department head appointed by him, but the Planning Commission believes he is an employee appointed by the commission.
The Knox City Council is trying to come up with a solution to a problem that is not uncommon to them, but inconvenient all the same. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the council that he received a notice from the State Board of Accounts detailing their budget order and explaining what amounts each budget would receive.
Houston explained that on the whole, the budgets are looking good, but there are two budgets that will need to be reworked due to cuts from the state. The Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, with a balance of $413,131, was cut by $24,536 – not a hefty cut, but still a hindrance. The Park Department’s budget was also cut by $11,135 for a total budget amount of $146,358 – another small cut, but park officials are calling it another obstacle to their five-year plan.
The Knox City Council held a rather brief meeting last night before the end of the year, and discussed a number of items.
Mayor Rick Chambers told the council that he had spoken to the contractor hired by the city regarding the laundromat, and was told the contractor was running behind schedule due to the holidays. However, he did remove a number of items – mainly washers and dryers – and took them to an auction in an effort to find a buyer.
The Knox City Council this week tabled an ordinance because of some confusion over how to proceed with approving it. The council had previously discussed the ordinance, which provides deadlines that outdoor seasonal displays must be removed and provides a fee for allowing them, but an issue arose. Mayor Rick Chambers explained the ordinance had to be revised because it did not provide actual dates before which seasonal displays must be taken down.
Discussion regarding what to do with the Knox Police Department’s K9 Marco continued last night as Police Chief Clint Norem told the city council that a dog handler valued the animal at $0. Norem explained he took the animal to a dog handler with the Hobart Police Department to try to get an idea of the dog’s value so the city could decide whether or not selling the dog was an option.
Corporal Simon Gresser of the Hobart Police Department wrote a letter to the council explaining that Marco, the four-year-old K9, doesn’t have any resale value. This is due in part to his age and medical issues, as the dog was previously diagnosed with lyme disease. The condition can often cause stiff joints and kidney failures, which would hinder the dog’s ability to work.
The Knox City Council this week realized they will need to make some changes to their water services policy, as it was brought to the attention of the council that the city sends, on average, 200 water disconnect notices per month. Tack on a cost of more than $5 for each certified letter, and that adds up to an expense of more than $1000 per month to remind customers to pay their bills.
The Knox City Council this week discussed a steel wall near the wastewater plant that has been suffering from corrosion. Mayor Rick Chambers explained that a steel building near the area where sewage is brought in has been affected by wastewater splashing on it, causing the wall to rust.
He said that, as a result, the wall is now deteriorating and letting weather get into the area. Fortunately, this wall is not structural, but is only used to keep weather out from the sewage area.
The Knox City Council at their meeting this week passed a motion to amend the salary ordinance for city police, specifically the pay grade for the corporal position.
Mayor Rick Chambers explained that at some point in time, the corporal’s pay got spread out farther than it should have from the pay for other positions. He said that whenever an officer receives a promotion, he naturally receives a pay raise, but the gap in pay from patrolman to corporal is a $912 increase – way too much, according to Chambers.
In honor of Nancy Dembowski’s unwavering dedication and service to the city of Knox, the city council this week passed a motion authorizing the renaming of the Knox Community Center to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center.
The council originally discussed the idea of honorarily renaming a portion of Main Street, beginning at Claybaugh Drive extending south to County Road 150 South, to Dembowski Drive, but after a lengthy discussion, the council decided to rename the community center instead. Chambers said this was due to Dembowski being instrumental in its construction years ago.