The newly-elected mayor of the City of Knox took his oath of office Wednesday. Dennis Estok was sworn in for another term as mayor.
He says one of his first priorities will be improving the condition of some of the city’s buildings, “When I was mayor the first time, we looked at the Parkview Heights neighborhood as far as a renovation/rehabilitation project. We had the Indiana Housing Authority come down. We went through it all. It’s the same thing that Walkerton did with one of their oldest neighborhoods, and I never got a chance to go any further because, you know, I got upset in the election. So, we’re going to revisit that.” As part of that effort, Estok plans to reinstate the position of code enforcement officer in the city.
He says Knox already has some positive features going for it, for example, its downtown tax increment financing district. “When I was mayor the first time, it wasn’t bringing in any revenue, so we had to redraw the TIF and restructure that,” he says. “It is really generating a lot of good money right now, where we can actually start using it for a lot of good purposes for the city. It hasn’t been done yet, so we’re looking at that.”
Estok says one of the city’s biggest assets, though, is its park system, but he says the city needs to keep improving it, “We need to build a park a little bit better than what we’ve got. There needs to me more things to do and more attractions, and the first thing we’re going to do from the get-go is we’re going to build a splash pad for the kids and get that going. I also hope in the same year, we can build an open amphitheater for musicians and that to come down and do concerts and that for the people.”
In addition to the mayor, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston and council members Bertha Blue, Tim Manns, Don Kring, Ron Parker, and Jeff Berg were also sworn in.
Additionally, two Hamlet officials took their oaths of office during Wednesday’s ceremony, clerk-treasurer Kristina Pitts and newly-elected council member Connie Bailey.