City of Knox
The City of Knox was awarded $420,034.22 by the Indiana Department of Transportation for Community Crossroads Road Improvement Grant for road improvements. Pictured from left to right: Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Council Members Bertha Blue, Donald Kring, and Jeff Berg, Mayor Dennis Estok, Council Members Ron Parker, and Jeff Gustafson.
 
KNOX — Mayor Dennis Estok accepted a check from the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Community Crossings Road Improvement Program in LaPorte on Oct. 22. The grant was in the amount of $420,034.22 and is for road improvements in the City of Knox.
There is a 25 percent match for the grant which comes out to be about $105,000.
John Julian from Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC presented the Sewer Bond Ordinance for the council’s consideration. This is an ordinance authorizing the refunding by the City of Knox of its Sewage Works Refunding Revenue and Revenue Bonds of 2009 and authorizing the issuance of sewage works revenue bonds for the purpose of providing funds to pay the cost fo certain additions, extensions and improvements to the municipal sewage works of Knox. It would also provide for the safeguarding of the interests of the owners of the bonds, other matters connected, including the issuance of notes in anticipation of bonds, and repealing ordinances that are inconsistent in it.
“So the nice thing tonight, we’re not talking rates and charges. We’re talking about a bond ordinance to do a project that won’t have any impact on rates and charges which is a rare and good thing,” said Julian. 
The amount of the project is estimated at $2,090,000. The City has received a grant from OCRA in the amount of around $700,000. This makes the net project amount around $1.3 million.
Julian told the council that they would like to get the bond sold by Thanksgiving. 
After some discussion, the council voted to pass it on first reading. They then approved a motion to suspend the rules and approve it on the second reading. They then approved the second reading.
In other council business, the Reserve Police Officer Ordinance was approved unanimously by the council on all readings. This ordinance allows the Police Department to utilize volunteers that wish to help maintain order during public events and activities.
“It’s a good idea. A lot of departments have reserve officers. They got to have the same training as full-time officers. It’s state mandated, their training hours,” remarked Police Chief Harold Smith.
A question of how these reserve officers would be used and where they would be used. Chief Smith replied that they would be at games and other public activities. 
“They have the same arrest powers as a full-time officer,” the chief added.
Another ordinance that was passed was the salary ordinance. In the ordinance is an included 2 percent raise for employees, and 1 percent for department heads. The mayor’s salary was brought up to the same salary as the clerk-treasurer. The council passed this ordinance unanimously on both readings.
During the Mayor’s Report, the Mayor informed the council that the students of the SCILL Center in Knox will do a community project for the City of Knox residents that are elderly or physically handicapped. Students will rake up to 15 properties. Please call the Mayor’s office at 574-772-4553 to get on the list. Yards will be raked on a first come, first serve basis. Last day to sign up is Nov. 12. No date has been set yet for the students to begin, but the Mayor’s office will contact those who are on the list when the date is picked.
Another event that the Mayor talked about was the Peppermint Parade sign-up. The parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. with line-up beginning at 3 p.m. The deadline for entry forms is Wednesday, Nov. 27. Late entries will not be accepted and there is no entry fee required. You can pick up applications at the Mayor’s office or on the city’s website at www.cityofknox.net

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