City of Knox Now Accepting Applications for the 2018 Sidewalk Replacement Program

The City of Knox will be working with residents and business owners to replace damaged sidewalks.

The Mayor’s Office recently issued a press release that states they will receive requests for residential and business sidewalk replacements until all available funds are used, on a first come, first served basis until the money to support the program runs out.

According to the release, the street superintendent will measure and inspect the requested area and approve or disapprove of the work order. If it is approved, the next step is to bid the project out to contractors. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Inquires About Town’s Policy on Buying Back Graves

A question about the town of North Judson’s policy on buying back grave plots was raised during this week’s town council meeting.

Tuesday night, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted members that an individual recently came into the Clerk’s Office and inquired about selling back two graves that he purchased for $350 each since his plans have changed and he no longer intends to be buried in town. Continue reading

Starke County Prosecutor’s Office Coordinates With Indiana State Police on Wayne Township Audit Investigation

Between 2009 and 2016, approximately $20,278 was overpaid to the Trustee and Deputy Trustee of Wayne Township, according to information found in a 2017 Indiana State Board of Accounts audit.

After a compliance report allegedly uncovered some discrepancies with salary and rent payments in Wayne Township, the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office began coordinating with the Indiana State Police on an investigation into the accusations made against Trustee Clara Schacht and her husband, Deputy Trustee Donald Schacht. Continue reading

North Judson Town Marshal Completes Chief School, K9 Officer Nears End of Training

Officer Rico Simpson, K9 Jimy & Town Marshal Kelly Fisher
Photo Source: NJ Town Photographer Peggy Bohac

North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher alerted town council members that she recently completed chief school through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

During her report Monday night, she told council members that she completed the schooling last week and was able to get some valuable information that will be beneficial to the department and town.

On a related note, she also mentioned that Officer Rico Simpson and his K9 Partner Jimy are in their final week of training at Vohne Liche Kennels. Simpson came in during Fisher’s report and provided a few details about his new K9 partner. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Receives Updates from CommonWealth Engineers, Considers Amended Agreement

An amended Owner-Engineer Agreement was presented at Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting.

CommonWealth Engineers Vice President of Business Development Vince Sommers gave members a few updates over the town’s Water Treatment Plant and Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) Improvement projects. He also submitted an amended owner-engineer agreement for their consideration. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Receive Annual Update About Redevelopment Commission & TIF Districts

As the Treasurer of the Knox Redevelopment Commission, Jeff Houston is required to submit an annual update to the fiscal body regarding the commission and the City’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts prior to April 1st each year.

When Knox City Council members met last Tuesday on March 27th, Houston reported the city has two TIF Districts; the Original TIF and the Industrial Park TIF.

He explained that in 2017, the original TIF fund received about $101,363 in revenue and nearly $36,979 was paid out in expenses. On the other hand, the revenue received in the Industrial Park TIF District remained the same as no expenses were paid out, according to Houston. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Awards Bid for Cemetery Mowing Contract

T&J Lawn Care,  out of Walkerton, will be handling the mowing services for Pioneer and Highland Cemeteries following a decision made by North Judson Town Council members Monday night.

The cemetery mowing contract was initially advertised back in March and individuals had a month to submit bids. The Town Council received and opened two bids last night.

The bid submitted by Tim Rhodes, the owner of T&J Lawn Care Services, was for a total of $12,000. The second bid, submitted by Mike Fanelli came in at $20,995. Continue reading

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Discusses Impact that Circuit Breaker Tax Caps Have on the City’s Budget

Knox City Council members were informed about some anticipated changes to local circuit breaker tax caps they met last Tuesday.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston said that on March 1st, he attended a meeting with the financial advisors at Umbaugh and Associates where they presented information about funding in local government and the analysis of assessed value.

He added that Mayor Dennis Estok, county representatives, local school administrators and other city and town officials were also in attendance at the March meeting.  Continue reading

Knox BOW Receives Update on Distressed Structure at 6 N. Pearl Street

At the request of Knox Board of Public Works members, the owner of a distressed property at 6 North Pearl Street presented a project update at their meeting last Wednesday.

She informed the members that the work that was once been stalled is back on track and that the contractor is now on site. However, she added that he began work a week behind the scheduled start date, so they’re in the process of playing “catch-up” at the moment. Continue reading

Knox City Police Chief Requests Adding Reserve Officers to the Force

Knox City Police Chief Harold Smith submitted a request to add reserve officers to the police force at Wednesday morning’s Board of Works meeting.

He informed them, “Reserve officers are unpaid officers who volunteer their time to help their community and they must complete state-mandated training and continue training through the police department.” Continue reading

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Discusses Event Success and Important Takeaway from the SCEDF Retreat

Starke County Community Services recently received a plethora of food donations thanks to the “Bluegrass Jam” event hosted by the City of Knox on March 25th.

At Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that the entry fee for the event was a food donation. Although he didn’t have an exact number for how much food was collected, he said the event was very well attended. He added that many people also provided compliments about the upgrades to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center.

During his report, Houston also filled members in on the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Community Retreat that he attended with Mayor Dennis Estok and Councilman Jeff Berg. Continue reading

City of Knox Leaf Pick-Up Starts Monday

Spring leaf pick-up will be starting soon in the City of Knox.

The Mayor’s Office recently sent out a notice, announcing that the leaf pick-up will begin on April 2nd and run until April 6th. Pick-ups will take place again from April 30th through May 4th.

Branches and limbs will be picked up the Knox Street Department each Thursday.

Residents should place all leaves in front of their residence in a long row next to the curb on the street, not by the alley. Also be sure to clear any trash out of your piles so the vacuum will be able to pick up the leaves. Continue reading

Starke County Justice Center Garden Expands, Trustees Start Planting for the Season

The Starke County Justice Center gardening program continues to grow!

According to Therapeutic Community Coordinator and Jail Warden Phil Cherry, the garden has quadrupled in size since last year. Justice Center has received multiple awards for the garden and the program in the three years since it’s been implemented.

Despite the dreary weather Thursday morning, a handful of trustees were out planting some “cold weather” items such as onions and potatoes. Though only about 6 inmates were working on this task, Warden Cherry shared that anywhere from 30 to 40 individuals will eventually be involved. Continue reading

Starke County Election Board Discusses Upcoming Public Test for Voting Machines

Citizens interested in getting a little bit of “voting practice” in prior to the May Primary Election will be pleased to hear that a test voting day will be held next week.

The upcoming public test for voting machines was discussed during Wednesday morning’s Starke County Election Board meeting. Starke County Clerk Vicki Cooley said the test is being held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd. Continue reading

Medaryville Town Council Passes Ordinances Pertaining to Election Procedures

Medaryville Town Council members held the final reading over two ordinances related to election procedures when they met last week.

Clerk-Treasurer Judy Harwood explained that town council members were considering these ordinances in order to adjust term lengths. She said the switch will have a positive impact on the cost of running an election.

She stated, “What they’re trying to do is get on the presidential elections and then there’s no cost to the town if they do that.” Continue reading