KNOX HIGHWAY SUPER
The search for Knox County’s next Highway Superintendent continues, but could be coming to an end soon.
At their meeting Tuesday morning, Commission President Kellie Streeter read an e-mail from Troy Woodruff, Co-President of RQAW. In the e-mail, Woodruff explained that the company is pulling their offer to supply the county with Engineer Greg Ellis as the Superintendent for the next 12 months. This comes after the heated Commissioners meeting last month on February 22nd and the backlash that followed.
In the proposed agreement, RQAW would allow Ellis to serve as the Highway Superintendent for Knox County, working 40 hours a week in the position. No concrete decision was reached by the commissioners at the time, and they had planned on further discussion.
Now, they will move on to a new candidate. RQAW has, however, offered the county three to four hours a week, at no charge, to help assist the new Superintendentt, whoever that may be.
Streeter said that they are in the process of hiring a candidate for the position, but the identity of that person was not yet revealed. She says they will make an announcement once the hiring is official.
Looking at other news from Tuesday’s Commissioner’s meeting….
KNOX COUNTY BUILDING SECURITY
In light of the recent fire at the Knox County Probation Department, efforts are being made to upgrade the security system at major county buildings.
The Knox County Commissioners heard from Rick Carroll at their meeting Tuesday. In his Maintenance Report, Carroll proposed purchasing four new security cameras. This lead to a discussion about upgrading cameras at not only the probation department, but the Knox County Courthouse and Annex as well.
Sheriff Mike Morris strongly supported a camera with a higher video quality, noting that the quality of current cameras has made solving the Probation Department fire in particular, more difficult. He also requested a change in the cameras maintenance schedule, suggesting that they be checked at least once a month for any malfunctions.
The Commissioners agreed to revisit the issue at their next meeting, set for Monday, March 20th at 7:00 p.m.
UNSAFE BUILDING CODE
An Unsafe Building Ordinance will soon be put in place for Knox County. The ordinance is designed to reduce the number of buildings in disrepair throughout the county.
At their meeting Tuesday, the Knox County Commissioners explained that their ongoing efforts to create the ordinance are being finalized. One of the major snags in the process had been determining who would be the hearing authority on violations of the ordinance, and who would determine enforce the repercussions of violating the ordinance. Commissioner President Kellie Streeter says that, after several meetings, the Knox County Commissioners will serve as the hearing authority once the ordinance is put in place. The Area Plan Commission will serve as the enforcement authority.
The 2017 Knox Co. Commissioners sale was deemed a success.
At their meeting Tuesday morning, the Commissioners were informed that nearly 100 properties on the sale list had been purchased. Almost $70,000 was taken in by the sale. In what was called a good turn out, with citizens packed in the main hallway of the courthouse and even outside, 91 properties were now off the sale list. 81 properties went unsold in the sale, but County Attorney Yvette Kirchoff noted that officials from both Oaktown and Decker have since expressed interest in some of the properties that fall into their jurisdiction. In the same way that Vincennes and Bicknell were recently deeded properties from the sale list, municipalities are encouraged to express interest in any properties in their area.
In the future, the County Commissioners have settled on moving the sale to every other year, to drive up interest when the sale occurs.
KNOX COUNTY CLEANUP
The Knox County Commissioners are continuing to push for a change in the way county residents are asked to clean up their properties.
As it stands, the Knox County Solid Waste Management District can only attend to problems they can see from the street. In order for further action to be taken, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department must get involved.
That’s why the Commissioners have met with Sheriff Mike Morris and Knox Superior Court 2 Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier to tweak the process the Solid Waste District must go through to get unkempt properties cleaned up.
Commission President Kellie Streeter says they are nearing some solid changes to the way things currently are, and hope to begin implementing those changes in the near future.