James Master, The Leader

KNOX — During the Tuesday, Dec. 10 meeting of the Knox City Council, Michael Burayidi, PhD from Ball State University gave a presentation about what his team of students will be doing in regards to urban revitalization and facade improvement for the City.

“I will meet with the students on the sixth of January. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays. My plan is that we visit here the second week, that’ll be the third week of January. I had a discussion with the mayor about whether it’d be more appropriate to come on a Tuesday or on a Thursday and he said yes it’s best to come on a Thursday,” said Burayidi.

The team will perform a field visit and host a community forum. The field visit will have the students walking throughout the neighborhood to familiarize themselves with the community. The forum will be held later that night at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center at 6 p.m.

After the forum, the team will compile the information into a set of goals for the community. Afterward, they will meet with certain stakeholders of the community and discuss the vision and goals for revitalization, issues, assets, and opportunities.

Property owners of the downtown will be met to discuss facade improvements and other needs including goals and obstacles to attaining them. A community survey will then be performed asking about attributes, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors as they relate to the revitalization of the area.

In the future there will be a second community forum that will present the findings from the analysis and a third community forum that will present the draft of the urban revitalization plan and facade improvement design.

When asked, Burayidi stated that this type of process was performed in Westville, Waterloo, Muncie, and other areas in Indiana.

In other news, the city council passed Resolution 2019-RE21. This resolution is in regards to the new company, Common Collabs, that recently broke ground on a new facility at the Knox Industrial Park.

“There’s really two, I guess, kind of approval processes that’ll happen over the next few months. The first of which would be the amendment to the existing TIF area. And this is kind of the third step in a four step process for that amendment of the TIF area. And then the second approval process would be for that financing and using those TIF dollars for the incentive. At this point we’re waiting for some additional feedback from the company and the site selector team that’s working with them,” stated the representative from Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors.

He added that they would be back early next year for further bond approval.

“The resolution talks about the history of your industrial park area,” the representative explained. “We’re recommending breaking this parcel out into its own TIF allocation area so you’d have your original 2015 allocation area, your new 2019 expansion, then you’d now have a third. It’d be the Common Collabs allocation area all within your Industrial Park TIF area.”

The council approved a motion that approved and adopted the resolution unanimously.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston stated that the bond sale for the municipal sewage works was closed the Monday before the meeting. The bonded amount was estimated to be around $2.8 million. “The 2009 bonds are going to be paid off on Jan. 10,” Houston said.

In the first year, the city will pay $208,000 making two payments in June and December. The payments then will decrease each year with the payment schedule running through 2039.

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