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 and Board of Public Works to Hold Join Work Session Tonight

The Knox City Council and the Board of Public Works will hold a joint work session to discuss the employee handbook tonight. It will be held at 6 p.m., prior to their regular session.

The regular session will commence at 7 p.m. where the approval of the new employee handbook will be up for consideration.

Additionally, members will consider a KIRPC Grant Administration Agreement and John Julien with Umbaugh will be discussing bonding for a fire truck. Continue reading

Knox City Council Holds Final Reading over Ordinance Eliminating Obstructions

The Knox City Council members held the final reading over the amended ordinance to eliminate obstructions on sidewalks, city streets and railroad right-of-ways when they met Tuesday night.

The ordinance up for approval last night states that individuals can face fines for obstructing sidewalks, streets or railroad right-of-ways with any structures or vehicles. It also includes a section that requires unobstructed passage of vehicles and clear view of any stopped vehicles.

According to that section, a person who stops, parks or leaves a vehicle has to leave a sufficient unobstructed width of the roadway opposite the vehicle free for the passage of oncoming traffic and a clear view of the stopped vehicle from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the highway. Continue reading

City of Knox Officially Pays off General Obligation Bond of 2010

Last Wednesday, Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston informed city council members that the final payment for the general obligation bond of 2010 was made earlier that day.

Houston added that the bond was taken out to purchase a fire truck which is now officially owned by the city. Mayor Dennis Estok reminded members that paying off the bond contributed to the deficit of more than $30,000 in Knox’s CEDIT account for this year. Continue reading

Knox City Council Holds First Reading over Ordinance Eliminating Obstructions

Knox City Council members held the first reading over the amended ordinance regulating obstruction of sidewalks, streets and railroad crossings for the City of Knox when they met Wednesday evening. Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that the ordinance was created by taking their existing sidewalk obstruction ordinance and combining it with additional specifications that are addressed in state statute.

The majority of feed back from council members was specifically about the section regarding placement of vehicles. Certain members were seeking clarification about the section which indicates that vehicles cannot be within fifty feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing. Continue reading

Knox City Council Members Start Process to Revamp Side Walk Obstruction Ordinance

Knox City Council members reviewed changes to the city’s sidewalk obstruction ordinance when they met Tuesday night.

Mayor Dennis Estok stated that no official action would be taken on the ordinance last night, but he wanted to submit it to council members prior to first reading incase they had any suggestions.

Issues with vehicles parking on sidewalks and large vehicles blocking the roadways have been brought up as council items during various meetings over the past few months. Councilman Jeff Berg recently showed fellow members that a sidewalk obstruction ordinance is on the books for the City of Knox.

However, the ordinance only covered structures and didn’t directly address vehicles. Council members agreed to amend the existing ordinance to cover the topics that have been discussed. Continue reading

Humane Society Agreement & Side Walk Obstruction Ordinance on the Agenda for Tonight’s Knox City Council Meeting

The Knox City Council members are anticipated to act on the agreement between the Starke County Humane Society and the City of Knox when they meet in City Hall at 7 p.m. tonight.

The agreement states that the Starke County Humane Society is the official housing center for the city’s stray animals. Mayor Dennis Estok explained that there has been a verbal understanding between the city and the Humane Society for quite some time, but this agreement puts all expectations and responsibilities into writing.

Council members will also discuss amendments to the city’s existing sidewalk obstruction ordinance. The ordinance will be amended to address vehicles more specifically. 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 Approves New Vehicle for Building and Code Compliance Officer

The purchase of a new vehicle for the Knox Building and Code Compliance Officer was approved at last night’s city council meeting. Compliance Officer Kenny Pfost has been utilizing his personal vehicle since the old city-issued vehicle broke down.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston mentioned that the $36,000 needed for the vehicle purchase will be split up between three separate accounts. He said that $10,000 would come out of the cumulative capital development repairs and maintenance fund, $8,600 would be from rental registration and $17,400 will be come from the edit account for the Knox Industrial Park. Continue reading

Knox City Council Meets Tonight

The Knox City Council will discuss funding for a new building and code compliance vehicle when they meet at 7 p.m. tonight. They will also consider the 2018 Holiday Schedule as well as the City Council and Board of Works meeting schedules for next year.

The council will receive a report from Ron Gifford of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation. Mayor Dennis Estok and Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston will also provide reports. Continue reading

Knox City Council Continues Conversation over Downtown Parking Problems

A previously considered council item was visited once again at the Knox City Council meeting on Tuesday. Council member Bertha Blue asked Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston what he found regarding the city’s rules about vehicles obstructing sidewalks.

Houston said while researching, he was unable to locate a local ordinance but he did find a state statute that specifies parking is prohibited on sidewalks. He said while that would technically be enforceable, he thought the terms were not realistic for Knox.

If you use the state statute,” Houston explained,  “you’re looking at real big fines and stuff so we probably want to write a new one for the city.” 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.

Public Hearing over 2018 Budget Held During Knox City Council Meeting

Knox City Council held a public hearing over the 2018 budget during their meeting Tuesday night. If you missed it, don’t worry, the budget can be seen online through the Indiana Gateway for Government Units website. Click here to access the 2018 Budget for the City of Knox.

During the hearing, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston went over specific items on the notice to the taxpayer. He explained that the max civil levy is the maximum amount of money that is allowed to be collected from property taxes. The estimated max civil levy is $1,567,438. He also described that the tax cap, the amount of money not allowed to be collected based on the classification of particular properties, is $221,292. The estimated general fund is $1,563,107. Continue reading

Knox City Council Votes to Increase Volunteer Fire Department Pay


During the Knox City Council meeting last night, members considered a change to the Fire Protection Agreement between the City and the Knox-Center Township Volunteer Fire Department.

As things were, volunteer firefighters would receive $10 per call, regardless of the time spent at a location. Mayor Dennis Estok said that whether they’re there for five minutes or five hours and they would still only receive $10. After attending a meeting recently Mayor Estok saw a need for an adjustment. Continue reading

Knox Community Center Building Corporation Simplifies Payment Process for Renovation Bills

As upgrades to the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center get underway, the Knox Community Center Building Corporation has taken steps to simplify the process of paying the bills for the work. The building corporation recently extended the community center’s loan by five years, to pay for a new roof and upgrades to the heating and cooling system, among other improvements.

Continue reading