Government News

WL Welcomes New Fire Chief

Jan 20, 2012

The City of West Lafayette introduced its new Fire Chief, Friday.

Timothy Heath is replacing Phil Drew who stepped down at the end of last year at the request of Mayor John Dennis.

He says he views the department as a family and hopes to build on that relationship, but in a different capacity.

The city held a pinning ceremony for Heath Friday, but he officially took office Thursday.

The 22-year veteran of the department previously worked as the Lieutenant of firehouse number two.

Faith Church Presents Mixed Use Complex Details

Jan 20, 2012

West Lafayette residents are getting a better understanding of a proposed $10-million mixed use development along Northwestern Avenue between Lindberg Road and Windsor Drive.

Faith Church is putting together plans for the project which would include a community center, apartments, and a restaurant and presented them during a public meeting Thursday night.

Pastor Steve Viars  says the development aims at meeting multiple needs of members of the community.

Engineer Joe Blake says community input has been important in putting together designs for the facility.

WL names new fire chief

Jan 18, 2012

West Lafayette's next fire chief will have an insider's knowledge of the department.

Mayor John Dennis promoted Timothy Heath to the position. Heath has been with the city since 1990, and served as a sergeant and lieutenant.

Dennis says he chose Heath from an internal pool of applicants, because of his training and certifications, which include leadership and command courses.

He takes over for Phil Drew, who served as chief for eight years and stepped down last month at the request of the mayor.

Fiber Optic Network Gains Support

Jan 18, 2012

The city of West Lafayette is a little closer to endorsing a proposed fiber optic network throughout the county.

The Redevelopment Commission has given its approval for Metronet to move forward with an engineering study on the project.

Commission President Larry Oates says he originally was inclined to vote against the measure, but admits his opinion changed after getting more background about the company.

Oates says public comment at a meeting last week was overwhelmingly in favor of the fiber-to-the-premises effort.

Bosma Vows Fines for House No-Shows

Jan 18, 2012

If Indiana House Democrats don’t show up for work Wednesday, they will be fined.

Speaker Brian Bosma says he will penalize members who abstain from participating in the session $1,000 for every day they are absent.

Democrats didn’t show up to the floor Tuesday in protest of Right-To-Work legislation, even though, according to Bosma, Minority Leader Pat Bauer promised his party would.

Bauer insists Democrats need more time to draft a new amendment because he says the proposal to put the issue to a statewide referendum may be unconstitutional.

WL to put out bids for Aeration Tank

Jan 17, 2012

West Lafayette is adding an aeration tank for the first time in about 30-years.

City leaders hope construction of the fifth tank at the wastewater treatment plant begins this spring.

Utility Director Dave Henderson says it will come at minimal cost to tax payers, but believes the impact is significant.

He says if the city gets further into the 90th-percentile for capacity, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management can implement a sewer ban.

Henderson says a fifth tank will increase capacity as much as 17-percent.

Democrats Want RTW to be Placed on Nov. Ballot

Jan 13, 2012

Hoosier voters would decide if Indiana becomes the 23rd Right-To-Work state under a plan from House Democrats.

The party wants to place the issue on the November ballot as a referendum.

Leaders say, that way, residents can decide the future of Indiana’s labor laws.

However, Republican leadership says doing so is not common practice and insists the bill will go through the appropriate democratic process on the floor beginning next week.

The measure would prohibit unions and companies from charging dues to non-members.

A state senator wants to raise the level of surplus needed before triggering a tax refund. The refund mechanism was put in place last year.

If the state’s budget surplus surpasses 10% of the total budget, the taxpayer refund kicks in.  When the surplus is calculated at the end of the fiscal year in June, projections say it will be at least $300 million more than the 10% level, disbursing a refund of about $50 per taxpayer.

State Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he wants to raise the threshold to be on the safe side.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Minority Leader Pat Bauer have struck an agreement to keep a Right to Work bill off the floor until next week in an effort to keep Democrats in the chamber. 

Democrats left the floor Tuesday, protesting a House committee meeting on Right to Work.  Bosma says after reviewing video of the meeting, he felt it was not “democracy’s finest hour,” but says he saw nothing against the House rules.  After meeting with Bauer Wednesday, Bosma announced Right to Work would not come before the full House for amendments until next Tuesday.

Filings Begin for Primary Elections

Jan 11, 2012

Elected officials and challengers are taking advantage of the first day to file for May’s primary.

Five republicans are putting their hat back in the ring for Tippecanoe County positions.

Treasurer Bob Plantenga, District Three Commissioner Tom Murtaugh, District Two Commissioner Dave Byers, Coroner Martin Avolt, and Surveyor Zach Beasley all filed for reelection.

So too did Congressman Todd Rokita.  The Republican is seeking a second term in office.

Democrat Tara Nelson also filed to run in the 4th District.