Letters of Interest for the Open Knox City Council Seat Must be Submitted by Tomorrow

Time is running out to apply for the open seat on the Knox City Council. Individuals who reside in District 4 and are registered Democrats have until Friday to submit their letter of interest for consideration. Any letters that come in after the deadline will not be eligible

Letters must be delivered to Starke County Democrat Chairman Kenny Wallace. They can be sent by mail to his Knox residence located at 5175 East 200 South. Continue reading

Knox City Council Votes to Purchase Double-Sided Message Board

When Knox City Council members met last month, they decided to move forward with purchasing a new digital message board, after first discussing the matter back in March.

Initially, when the topic was presented by Mayor Dennis Estok, he said that the double-sided message board he found would be 4 foot by 8 foot and would cost around $35,000.

He explained that placing a sign at the city’s entrance could help promote various community events and share other important announcements with citizens as well as motorists passing through. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Approve Revised Employee Handbook

In order to discuss the employee handbook, Knox City Council members held a joint work session with a member of the Board of Public Works last night.

Steve Dodge served as the representative for the BOW. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the firm HR Unlimited was hired to help revise the current employee handbook.

Houston said a new handbook was needed not only due to changes to state requirements but also because multiple versions of the handbook were floating around. He said over the years, people have amended it for various departmental needs but city officials felt it was time to have a standard for everyone to go by. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Elect New President Pro Temp and Address Additional Appointments

Knox City Council members re-organized and addressed appointments when they met for the first time this year.

On Tuesday night, Councilwoman Bertha Blue nominated Ron Parker for the position of President Pro Temp and former council president. Parker’s nomination was unanimously approved. A “president pro tempore” serves as the representative for the council members and they would run the meeting if the mayor is ever absent. Continue reading

Knox Plan Commission Meeting Includes Heated Conversation Over Project Concerns, Results in Verbal Resignation

The Knox Plan Commission met last night to hold a public hearing and discussion over a subdivision of property for the purpose of developing a Dollar General Store in the area at the request of Mark Matthew.

The commissioners ultimately approved the subdivision but prior to and following the decision, the meeting continuously erupted into conversations over site planning and safety concerns, resulting in one commissioner submitting verbal resignation and leaving the meeting prior to adjournment.

Commission president Jeff Berg began by running over the purpose and protocol of the meeting and hearing, saying that Mr. Matthew was seeking permission to divide a lot at the corner of U.S 35 and County Road 200 S. Planning Administrator Kenny Pfost added that a notification of the hearing was publicized and all neighbors within a 500 foot radius of the project were sent letters about the plans. Continue reading

Knox Council Members to Discuss Proposed Acquisition of Gateway Property

  
 

Two members of the Knox City Council agreed to be on a committee to discuss the proposed acquisition of the Gateway property.

Discussions were held previously to enter into an agreement to transfer title of land and improvements of the Gateway property to the city of Knox. The property includes the depot, the watchman’s tower, the Nickel Plate signal tower and tracks. The depot is home to the Starke County Visitor’s Center and Starke County Chamber of Commerce. A house on West Water Street would also be part of the agreement.

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Knox City Council Discusses Building Permit Fee

Knox City Council
Knox City Council

The Knox City Council this week discussed building permit fees after a resident left paperwork with Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explaining he felt he was overcharged when he bought a permit to add an addition to a pole barn. The resident explained he was issued a building permit for a 24-foot-by-40-foot addition to an existing pole barn and was charged $192, though he thought the accessory building permit should have only been $75.

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Goals to Revitalize Downtown Knox Given to City Council

Back Row: Greg Matt, Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Donald Kring, City Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

A list of goals to improve the look of downtown Knox was presented to the city council by Council President Jeff Berg at their recent work session. According to Berg, the list consists of several basic goals that can be easily attained and most of them can be performed by the city at little cost.

The list of community goals included items as simple as replacing old fire hydrants, bracketing Heaton Street light poles for future flag and banner use, and resurfacing the Wythogan Park basketball court, which Berg says is in dire need of repair. The estimated cost of this project has been projected to approximately $31,000, and no decision has been made as to where that money will come from.

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Public Hearing Held on Klockner Road Project

Thirteen citizens turned out last night at the public hearing presentation by engineers for the $2.4 million dollar Klockner Road Project on Knox’s west side.  Most of those in attendance were interested how the project was going to impact their property.

The engineers from Lawson-Fisher Associates of South Bend explained the process for acquisition of property that will total 3.7 acres.

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Residents Gather to Discuss the Future of Downtown Knox

This is the one of locations discussed at last night's meeting. This is the old Everett's Drug Store/movie theatre building

Approximately three dozen people attended the first meeting called last night to gain ideas for improving downtown Knox.

The meeting was chaired by Mayor Rick Chambers and Gene Blastic from the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.

Many of the comments had to do with buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Knox City Councilman, Greg Matt, said it’s obvious the City Council is going to have to create ordinances with more stringent codes to force the building owners into action.

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Incumbents Re-Elected in City of Knox Primary Election

Rick and Marlene Chambers

Knox City Democrats went to the polls yesterday and re-elected Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, and City Councilman Ron Parker in the contested races.

Chambers defeated challenger Mark Smith 401-288 in the mayoral race, and at party headquarters, he thanked his supporters.

“It’s been an exciting four years and I’m just humbled by the public coming out and voting and supporting me,” said Chambers. “We’re here to support the public. I’ve got to thank my family. My Mother-in-Law, my kids, everybody else that helped me, and the City workers who have made me look good for the past four years. We’ve got to thank them.”

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