Knox Mayor Reports Pearl Street Paving Has to Wait Until Aging Pipes Are Replaced

Paving on Pearl Street that was originally listed as one of the Community Crossings Grant projects for the City of Knox will have to wait.

Mayor Dennis Estok told city council members last Tuesday that the brick road on Pearl Street that was originally supposed to be paved cannot be included in this year’s grant application due to some older pipes that are underneath the road. Continue reading

Budget Update Presented at Knox City Council Meeting

A reminder about the importance of staying on schedule when it comes to budget matters was provided at Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston alerted members that the budget process is currently in underway. He noted that the first step is to balance out the month of June and then come mid-July, he will meet with a field representative from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. Continue reading

Knox City Council Extends Waste Management Contract

Knox City Council members considered extending the City’s garbage services contract with Waste Management when they met on Tuesday.

Public Sector Solutions Representative Melinda Antell came before the council to go over the proposed contract extension. She noted that initially she presented a five-year contract to Mayor Dennis Estok but he requested the shorter, three-year contract extension. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

Knox City Council members will consider granting a tax abatement for Selected Furniture LLC when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. in Knox City Hall.

Project street print, which has been discussed briefly in past meetings, will be covered again tonight. Officials have been discussing the cost associated with painting the city emblem on sections of road in town as well as considering potential locations. Continue reading

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Free to Begin Budget Process After City Council Approves Fund Transfer

Knox City Council members had to move a little money around before the budget season begins.

When members met at the end of May, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the budget process will begin in June. He noted that all accounts need to be in black and alerted them that there were only two funds that needed attention before he could proceed. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

An appropriation hearing will be held over the 2018 General Obligation Bond issue when Knox City Council members meet tonight at 7 p.m.

Additionally, members will consider two ordinances on second and final reading. One ordinance is to authorize the sale of the general obligation bond for the fire truck and the other will approve the appropriation of the bond. Continue reading

Mayor of Knox Provides Community Crossings Project Update at City Council Meeting

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok alerted city council members that work has begun on a Community Crossings Grant project. At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Estok explained that crews recently began removing old curbs and sidewalks on Water Street.

As a part of the project that was submitted to INDOT and subsequently approved, curbs and sidewalks will be replaced and repaving on Water Street, as well as Main Street from U.S. 35 to Mound Street, will be completed. 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

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 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

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 Clerk-Treasurer Learns that the School’s Bond Will Not Have Negative Impact on Tax Caps

Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told city council members of a potential impact Knox Community School’s bond pursuance may have on the city’s budget.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Houston told members he was under the impression the school’s bond may affect the city’s circuit breaker tax caps but he wasn’t sure about how much of an impact it would have.

He explained that the Knox School Corporation has recently been going through a process similar to what the city did when they took on community center renovations where a bond is set up through a separate building corporation that then leases the building back to the entity. Continue reading

Financial Update Provided During Knox City Council Meeting

The Knox City Council received a financial update from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston this week.

On Tuesday night, Houston informed the council that the City of Knox is in pretty good financial shape since they had more money at the end of 2017 than they started with at the beginning of the year.

Later, Houston explained that at the start of 2017, the city had around $3,994,645 and it ended the year with $4,146,321. That’s a net gain of $151,676 or a 3.8 percent increase. Continue reading

Knox Board of Public Works Approves Recommendation for New Patrolman

Knox Board of Works members approved a recommendation from Police Chief Harold Smith during a special meeting Monday morning.

Chief Smith’s recommendation pertained to hiring Seth Johnson as a patrolman for the police department. He explained that out the 30 applications that were issued, 9 were returned. Out of the 9 that came back, the list was narrowed down to 4 finalists. However, none of the final 4 passed background checks.

Since none of the applicants were suitable, Chief Smith suggested adding former Starke County Sheriff’s Department officer Seth Johnson to the force. Continue reading