City approves $900,009 for sewer repairs

KNOX — At last week’s Knox City Council meeting, the Wastewater Treatment Plant project was approved for an extension on repairs to the facility. The extension granted additional time to complete the repairs, extending the original completion date of Oct. 15 to Nov. 23. This date is the last day the contractor can get the repairs completed and submit the necessary information to close out the grant by the end of the year. This extension was requested because of additional parts that were ordered within the budget, and more time is necessary in order for the contractor to get the parts in and get them installed.
The project involves both repairs and improvements to the plant. The repairs are for normal wear and tear on the facility, and the improvements will help keep prices low in the long run, said Mayor Rick Chambers.
“Updating the plant will save us from raising sewer bills for the residents for a couple years. It also keeps the facility running more efficiently so we don’t have to raise prices for sewage. It means that the plant runs more efficiently, and it should save some costs as far as electricity for some of the motors,” continued Chambers.
Repairs proposed include repairs to the existing lift stations on Kloeckner Drive, South U.S. 35, and West Culver Road. They will also be replacing the existing lift station on East Culver Road, as well as various other repairs. The contract value is currently set at $900,009.
The council also approved the bond for a new fire truck for the station on a third reading. The new truck will carry 25 percent more water than the current 1980 model. In addition, it will also be able to safely transport up to six firemen as opposed to the current capacity of two, and is supported by a built-in generator in case of emergencies.
“I think it’s definitely needed,” said Fire Chief Ken Pfost. “I think it would serve us much better.”
The council approved the first reading for the ban on the sale of synthetic cannabinoids, but will be reviewing changes made to the ordinance before approving the second reading. Synthetic cannabinoids are substances that closely imitate the effects of marijuana but are not considered to be the same drug. Commonly referred to as K-2 or Mr. Smiley, these substances are being banned from sale in many counties throughout Indiana, with many other states banning them as well.
“The city wants to be proactive in protecting our kids and stop the sale of this substance before it gets a foothold in our city,” said Chambers.
Also discussed at the meeting was the possible purchase of three properties in Parkview Heights, with an estimated purchase price of $7,500. The three properties are located on the old 500 block of Parkview Heights, and are only separated from the park by one other property. There is a trailer with an attached roof on one of the properties.
“It’s a good deal, and it’s preventing it from becoming something worse,” said Councilman Greg Matt.
The council is waiting on a title search before proceeding. The properties were previously offered to Habitat for Humanity but they were not interested.
If the city purchases the lots, Chambers said the city’s number one goal will be to clean that area up.