The Knox Board of Public Works this week approved a request by the DLZ Corporation regarding storm water drainage at the new Starke County Jail site. DLZ representatives and a representative for the Starke County Commissioners made a proposal to expand the existing retention basin and add another basin behind the building. The storm water would not run into the city storm water system, but would make use of the basins and disperse naturally.
After the bid approval process was put on hold on June 26, the Knox Board of Public Works was able to approve the bid for the demolition of the old Knox theater and the former office of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation in the downtown area at their meeting yesterday morning. The process was postponed due to the discovery of asbestos in the two buildings, as the board learned that the federal wage would have to be used by bidders.
The Knox Board of Public Works approved a utility bill credit for Reagent Chemical.
Knox City Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that a coding error occurred and the industry was billed $397.74 more than necessary. A decimal point in the wrong spot was reportedly to blame and was picked up by the staff.
Knox Street Superintendent Jeff Borg reported to the Board of Public Works that they are active in eradicating mosquitoes but conditions have to be right to do so.
Borg explained that calm winds and clear nights are just right for spraying for mosquitoes. Regular spraying times have been hampered due to the weather this season, but crews are making efforts to rid the city of the pesky bugs. They are also applying larvicide to standing ponds, swamps and marsh areas as often as possible.
The Knox Board of Public Works was to approve bids Wednesday morning for the demolition of the old Knox theater and the former office of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation in the downtown area, but that process was put on hold.
A representative of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs was at the meeting Wednesday morning and informed the board members that since asbestos was found in the two buildings, the federal wage will have to be used by bidders. The representative informed Territorial Engineers, who then informed the four bidders that their bids would not be submitted as the wage system will have to reflect the federal Davis-Bacon wage system.
The entire process will be re-advertised with a pre-bid meeting set for July 12 at 9:30 a.m. and bids will be opened during the Board of Public Works’ next meeting on July 24.
The Knox Board of Public Works will be meeting this morning at 9:30 a.m. at Knox City Hall.
The board members will be awarding the bid for the demolition of the old Knox theater and the building that previously housed the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.
The Knox Board of Public Works was notified by Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Kelly Clemons that her staff is having trouble keeping lift stations clear of garbage that some residents choose to dispose of in their waste systems.
Her staff has been to a lift station on Washington Street and they’ve had to clear it of disposable wipes that aren’t meant to be flushed into the sewer system. Clemons asks that residents not flush disposable wipes, diapers, sanitary napkins, prescription medications, plastic, syringes, underwear, kitty litter, grease or oils in the sewer system.
You are asked not to flush those items down the toilet or get rid of them down the sink. The equipment is not meant to process those items and thus goes through unnecessary wear and tear.
If you have questions, contact Clemons at (574) 772-2961.
The Knox Board of Public Works approved the last pay applications for the Phoenix House project.
Van Janovic from Territorial Engineering informed the board that the project has fallen within budget. Approximately $4,800 will be left over from the project.
The Knox Board of Public Works opened street paving bids Wednesday morning for five streets and a small section of pavement at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
E&B Paving out of Rochester was the low bidder with a total bid of $76,680. In their bid, they noted that they would be using 1,149.44 tons of asphalt at $66.71 per ton. The Board of Works accepted E&B Paving as the lowest conforming bidder and the paperwork and specifications will be reviewed by Street Superintendent Jeff Borg and City Attorney David Matsey.
The Knox Board of Public Works discussed a billing issue with JW Hicks during their meeting last week.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that a computer glitch created a problem in recognizing the correct water usage at the factory in the Industrial Park. The company had expanded its business a few months ago and an estimated usage was calculated as it wasn’t known how many gallons would be used. It was later learned that the average amount used was around 27,000 gallons.
The Knox Board of Public Works is attempting to reduce the number of required drug tests that need to be conducted on city employees.
Mayor Rick Chambers asked the department heads to provide job descriptions for their employees to determine those who are required to be drug tested. The only employees that need to be tested are CDL license holders and there are only handful that work for the city.
Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem encourages you to utilize the police department’s prescription medication drop box to get rid of your unwanted or unused prescription medication.
Norem gave an update on the utilization of the drop box to the Knox Board of Public Works last week. Norem explained that residents have left a few deposits in the newly installed drop box. He hopes that more people become aware of the drop box and help rid the area of potential prescription medication thefts.
The Knox Board of Public Works held discussion with a resident concerning her water and sewer bill.
Janet Black explained to the board members that there was a water leak detected underneath her house and she didn’t know about it. Her son had fixed the leak but she was shocked when she got her water bill and it was $410.47 – a far cry from her regular bill of $61.00.
The Knox Board of Public Works approved a pay application for Chester Construction at their meeting this week in the amount of $49,563.74. The board members also approved a claim for Mark Milo Enterprises for $29,307.50.
Van Janovic from Territorial Engineering explained to the board that these claims are for the Phoenix House construction project. He said Chester’s work is about 91 percent complete and the parking lot work being done by Mark Milo is about 63 percent complete. He said he walked through the project area and was impressed with the work that has been done and it’s been on schedule.
The Knox Board of Public Works opened bids for the upcoming lift station project.
The lift station near the south side fire station on Clabaugh Drive is antiquated and will be replaced in this project.
The Knox Street Department superintendent told the Knox Board of Public Works Wednesday morning that he hopes the winter season is over as he and his employees are springing into the next season.
Jeff Borg said the staff will be doing spring cleaning next week which includes leaf pick-up. They will pick up leaves if they are placed in the street along the curb and not in the alley. Brush and limbs will be picked up each Thursday.
The Knox Board of Public Works approved three change orders to the Phoenix House construction project Wednesday morning.
The construction project began in mid-January with site preparations beginning in December. The Phoenix House suffered flooding and grant money was sought by K-IRPC to aid in the construction project. The garage is being expanded to include a storage area, a group meeting room, a library and computer area.
The Knox Board of Public Works will be opening bids Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m. for the CADA project.
The Coalition Against Domestic Abuse recently received a grant for a construction project at the Phoenix House. The money will be used to extend the garage at the Phoenix House, that was destroyed in a flood a few years ago.