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Knox Council Passes on Parkview Lot Purchase

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council is passing for now on the purchase of a property in Parkview Heights. The owner of 406 W. Giles Court, Lot 41 offered the lot and trailer and shed that sit on it to the city for $3,500. That’s $1,000 less than her last offer.

Mayor Rick Chambers says funds from the Blight Elimination Grant the city received to buy and tear down dilapidated structures cannot be used to buy or demolish mobile homes. He also notes the city only paid $1,500 for eight vacant lots in Parkview. Continue reading

Knox Council Agrees to Finance Street Department Truck

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

The City of Knox will pay for a new International 4300 dump truck for the street department over a three-year period rather than completing the purchase in a single budget year. Mayor Rick Chambers says the chassis carries a price tag of nearly $64,000 plus $55,000 for the box. He told the council they can use the $30,000 remaining in the current year’s budget as a down payment on the vehicle and finance it for three years at a rate of 3.11 percent. Continue reading

Knox Mayor Announces Reelection Bid

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers is running for reelection. He notes much progress has been made in the city during his seven years in office and adds a process is under way to develop a long-range plan with citizen input to continue growth and prosperity.

Chambers also cites his experience running the city on a reduced budget due to state funding cuts. During his tenure as mayor, Knox has been awarded nearly $2 million in grants. Continue reading

City of Knox Moving Forward with Blight Elimination Program

City_of_Knox_LogoKnox Mayor Rick Chambers updated the city council last week on the Blight Elimination Program.

The city received a grant for $187,000 that will aid in the cost of removing blighted,vacant and abandoned homes in the city. A majority of the homes on the list are in the Parkview Heights area.

Mayor Chambers explained that the state does not want the purchased properties for demolition under this grant in the name of the city. They want a holding company that is not associated with the city. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said the city could use the development foundation as a holding company. City Attorney David Matsey will draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the development foundation to hold those properties for three years.

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Knox Officials Still Researching Dumpster Regulations

City_of_Knox_LogoThe Knox City Council is still gathering information about dumpster regulations before drafting an ordinance to govern their placement within the city limits. City attorney David Matsey gave the council copies of policies from other communities to review. He says the goal is to keep dumpsters from being placed indefinitely in front of homes or other structures. Continue reading

Mayor Chambers Voices Concerns over SWAT Mutual Aid Agreement

City_of_Knox_LogoKnox Mayor Rick Chambers told the Knox City Council members last week about some concerns he has with a proposed SWAT mutual aid agreement between Knox City Police Department officer Chad Dulin and Pulaski County.

Chambers noted that SWAT is a worthwhile program and would be great training for the rest of the city officers. It would also benefit to the community when there is a need. However, Mayor Chambers does have concerns with personnel availability and shift coverage if Dulin is called to active assignment.  He’s working on those issues before an agreement is brought before the council for final approval.

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Knox City Council Discusses Agreement for Use of the Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center

Knox City Attorney David Matsey is working on a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and Deb McIntire and between the city and the area churches that will be a part of serving free meals out of the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox once a week beginning next year.

There will no rental fee associated with this endeavor.

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City of Knox to Draw New Comprehensive Plan

Officials met last week to look into composing a new five-year comprehensive plan for the city of Knox.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers said a company will be hired to design a plan.

“We have hired a company from Indianapolis called Green Three and this company will be hired from a grant that we have obtained from the State of Indiana from OCRA (Office of Community and Rural Affairs) to update Knox’s five-year plan and give us a direction of where we want to go,” stated Chambers.

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Contractors Needed for Home Repairs for City Grant Project

The City of Knox is looking for contractors to bid on repairs on homes through the Area 5 program.

Five roofing jobs were awarded to companies in LaPorte and Logansport and now local contractors are urged to bid on homes that need electrical repairs, plumbing repairs and general contracting repairs. The city has secured grant money and are waiting for companies to bid on the projects.

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Knox Board of Public Works Discusses Drug Testing Policy

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.

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Knox Park Board to Consider Safety Suggestions

City of Knox logoThe Knox Park Board will consider suggestions offered recently to curb vandalism at Wythogan Park when they meet this evening. Mayor Rick Chambers recently hosted a community discussion to gather thoughts on the issue. Afterward he said several good suggestions were offered, including a stronger police presence and writing more curfew tickets to juveniles who are in the park after hours. Continue reading

Mayor Chambers Clears an Issue with Outdoor Storage Ordinance Confusion

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the city council members last week that a fundraising concept has been nixed at a few businesses in the city because there is some confusion with the outdoor storage ordinance.

Mayor Chambers explained that a non-profit organization attempted to have a port-a-pit chicken sale at a business but the organization members were told it couldn’t be held at the location because it conflicted with the outdoor storage ordinance.

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Harvest Festival to be Revived in 2015

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.

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Ideas Offered to Combat Wythogan Park Vandalism

City of Knox logoKnox City officials have several options to consider when it comes to curbing vandalism at Wythogan Park. Mayor Rick Chambers hosted a community discussion last night to gather thoughts on the issue. He says several good suggestions were offered.

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Public Input Sought on Problems at Knox Park

City and county officials want the public’s input on how to make Wythogan Park safer. Mayor Rick Chambers and others are hosting a community meeting this evening at 6:30 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in downtown Knox to discuss incidents of vandalism at the park. The Knox City Police Department has stepped up patrols through the park, but Mayor Chambers is seeking other suggestions as well. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Meet Tonight

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.

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Community Meeting Set to Curb Park Vandalism

The number of vandalism reports in Wythogan Park has slowed, but it continues.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers is attempting to gather information to help curb the ongoing damage reported in Knox’s most popular park.

A meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox where opinions will be noted about ways to improve security. Any other suggestions will be welcome during this information session.

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Meeting Scheduled to Gather Ideas on Curbing Vandalism

The mayor of Knox is attempting to gather as many groups as possible to talk about the solutions to curb the ongoing vandalism issue in Wythogan Park.

Mayor Rick Chambers has organized a meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center to gather opinions from several groups to look at the problem from all angles.

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Knox Mayor Gives Update to City Council

Knox City Council

Knox City Council

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the city council this week that a new crossing guard is needed for the new school year. It’s a part time position and the candidate will be required to assist children in the morning and in the afternoon at the intersection at Main Street and Culver Road all school year. Any interested candidates can call the mayor’s office at 772-4553.

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