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

Knox City Council Members Sign Annual Nepotism Contracts

Nepotism contracts were passed out and signed during Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting.

Nepotism contracts are signed to prevent any potential conflicts-of-interest from occurring within a municipality. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston informed the council members that during a meeting he recently attended, he was advised to include this on the agenda even though it is an annual procedure.

Houston said there was one document that was passed out and signed to all the present council members. He added that since Councilman Don Kring recently completed some work for the city police department, there was another document only needed his signature. Continue reading

Knox City Council Considers General Obligation Bond Ordinances on First Reading

Knox City Council moved one step closer to acquiring a new fire truck for the Knox-Center Township Fire Department when they met Tuesday evening.

Two ordinances related to the 2018 General Obligation Bonds that will be required for the fire truck purchase were passed on first reading.

The first ordinance authorizes the sale of the bonds while the second one permits the funds to be appropriated once the truck is ready to be purchased. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the ordinances will need to be advertised before they can be passed on final reading. Continue reading

Knox Board of Public Works to Meet Today

Fire truck bids will be opened during this morning’s Knox Board of Public Works meeting.

In addition to receiving updates about a property at 6 North Pearl Street and two properties on Main Street, members will also consider a request for reserve officers. The superintendent’s report will be delivered and any additional business deemed necessary by the board will be discussed. Continue reading

Full-Service Income Survey to be Conducted for the Town of Medaryville

Executive Director of Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Edwin Buswell provided Medaryville Town Council members with a recommendation when they met last Wednesday.

According to Clerk-Treasurer Judy Harwood, Buswell recommended hiring Lindi Conover-Thompson to do a full-service income survey for the town. Officials will soon be seeking financial assistance for the proposed water tower project. In order to receive any kind of grant funding, they will need to provide necessary data that this type of survey will gather. Continue reading

Knox City Council to Consider Ordinances Pertaining to G.O. Bonds at Tonight’s Meeting

Ordinances pertaining to the authorization and appropriation of the 2018 General Obligation Bonds will be considered when Knox City Council members meet tonight.

The G.O Bonds are being acquired for the purchase of a fire truck for the Knox-Center Township Fire Department.

Members are also expected to discuss nepotism and contracting certifications. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Choose to Consolidate Railroad Insurance Payments

North Judson Town Council members will save some money on their railroad insurance payments after approving a recommendation made by Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe at their meeting last week.

Rowe first brought this idea up when the payments began but he did some additional research on the payment methods and coordinated with President Wendy Hoppe about the matter prior to bringing the suggestion before the council. Continue reading