Wythogan Park may reopen by weekend

Mayor Rick Chambers announced plans to reopen Wythogan Park at last night's council meeting (Tuesday, Sept. 11). Pending final inspection, the park was scheduled to open the weekend of Sept. 15-16, although some cleanup may continue. The City has received an insurance payment of $94,624, and an additional $7,000 will be available for the purchase of equipment damaged during the storm.  
The Council approved Resolution No. 878 establishing a separate special events fund. Clerk/Treasurer Jeff Houston stated the action was recommended during a recent State Board of Accounts audit. Keeping the funds separate also facilitates access to the funds as needed.
The City’s recent circus was a success, and raised additional money for special events. Many compliments also were received about the return of the circus and the quality of the shows.
Houston and other Council members also reported that several residents have received complaints about an insurance company soliciting sales for water line insurance. It is not a known “scam,” but the company has no affiliation with the City, and the insurance would only cover that portion of the water line from City property into the building. Although it’s up to the individual property owner, City Council members do not recommend the insurance.
The City’s insurance company recently completed a risk assessment on City operating units. Results were very good, with only a couple recommendations for the street and police departments.
No date has been set for demolition of the building on the northeast corner of Main and Lake streets in downtown Knox. The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is awaiting the grant from the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission. After demolition, plans are to give the property to the City, possibly for additional downtown parking.
Mayor Chambers has been contacted by the Habitat Resale Store in Plymouth about possible salvage at the former laundromat at the corner of Lake and Pearl streets, which is slated to be demolished by the City. Proceeds from the Resale Store go to Habitat for Humanity of Marshall County. Scrap value of the contents are included in the quotes for demolition and will be reviewed before a decision is made.
In other business, the Council learned that two replacements have been hired for the City Street Department, and flu shots will be available to City employees at the Hospital for $25.
The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at City Hall.