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

SCEDF Helps Knox Officials Get to the Bottom of a CEDIT Account Deficit

Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver spoke with Knox City Council members about an estimated deficit in the city’s CEDIT account at their meeting last Tuesday.

Back in October, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that he received a notification from the Department of Local Government Finance indicating that there would be a projected loss of revenue of $34,908 for next year. He told members that sometimes those figures can be off but also assured them that the SCEDF was working with representatives from Umbaugh to get to the bottom of it.

At the most recent council meeting, Weaver informed members that after speaking with the city’s financial advisor Todd Samuelson of Umbaugh and Associates, he had a better understanding of why next year’s numbers are lower than the figures from  2017. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

No specific action or discussion items are listed on the agenda for the Knox City Council meeting being held tonight at 7 p.m. in Knox City Hall.

The council will hear reports from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston and Mayor Dennis Estok. There will be time allotted toward the end of the meeting for citizen’s comments and council items.

In recent meetings, council items included the potential striping of Culver Road and an ordinance pertaining to parking downtown. There is a possibility these items will be revisited tonight but they are not specifically listed on the agenda.

Fire Protection Agreements Approved by Knox City Council

The 2018 fire protection agreements between the City of Knox and Center and Jackson Townships were up for approval at the Knox City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston stated that the proposed agreements are essentially the same as past years except they did one year rather than two year agreements this year. He said that decision was made because an election will be coming up and incoming groups can not be legally bound to an agreement. Continue reading

Knox City Council 2018 Salary Ordinance includes 3% Pay Increase, Raise for Part-time Police

The Knox City Council held the first reading of the 2018 salary ordinance during their meeting Tuesday evening. A three percent increase is being proposed across the board, with the exception of part-time police, which had a specific raise amount recommend by the Chief of Police.

Mayor Dennis Estok explained the three percent increase is being proposed across the board because of a recent insurance policy change. Continue reading

Final Salary Ordinance Approval on Knox Council Agenda

City_of_Knox_LogoThe Knox City Council has a meeting scheduled for tonight at 7 pm in City Hall. The Council will have their final reading of the 2016 Salary Ordinance. Treasurer Jeff Houston said this is in preparation for an upcoming budget hearing, “We have a budget meeting with the field representative from the Department of Local Government Finance on the 27th of July.” he said. Continue reading

State Budget Cuts Affect Knox Highway, Park Departments

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council is trying to come up with a solution to a problem that is not uncommon to them, but inconvenient all the same. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the council that he received a notice from the State Board of Accounts detailing their budget order and explaining what amounts each budget would receive.

Houston explained that on the whole, the budgets are looking good, but there are two budgets that will need to be reworked due to cuts from the state. The Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, with a balance of $413,131, was cut by $24,536 – not a hefty cut, but still a hindrance. The Park Department’s budget was also cut by $11,135 for a total budget amount of $146,358 – another small cut, but park officials are calling it another obstacle to their five-year plan.

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City of Knox Sells Old Firetruck on eBay

Jeff Houston

Online auction shopping website eBay came to the rescue of the City of Knox recently. Unable to sell used equipment and vehicles, the city has turned to eBay and it has turned out to be a gold mine. The most recent thing sold was an
old fire truck, as Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explains.

“We sold the old firetruck on eBay for $4850, and that seems to be a pretty good process for us. We used to set vehicles around and put “For Sale,” and we did set this up here so people could see it, but it had the email address and stuff to be able to bid on it for a certain length of time on eBay rather than to come in and make bids with us. I like it a lot better, and I’m real happy with the rate that we are getting compared with what we were getting before,” said Houston.

As they say, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” The old fire truck was taken away by a buyer in Michigan.

An interesting story about eBay. The founder, Pierre Omidyar, sold a broken laser pointer in 1995. It was the first item sold over eBay, and Omidyar was so astonished that he called the buyer back and asked, “Do you realize this laser pointer is broken?” To which the man replied, “I’m in the market for broken laser pointers, not new ones.”

Omidyar then realized eBay might really be successful.

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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Jeff Houston Seeks Another Term as Knox City Clerk-Treasurer

Jeff Houston

We’re less than two weeks away from the 2011 Primary Election, and we’re talking to the candidates running for office in the City of Knox Election.

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston is in his 5th year in the position. We asked Houston what he enjoys about the job.

“I enjoy working with people, and I enjoy planning for the future with the City,” said Houston. “Right now we’re working on a number of different projects including the new J.W. Hicks project. We’re working with different grants – we’re working in the park right now with a five year grant. I like interacting with the different people in the City and with utility customers. All in all, I enjoy the job altogether.”

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