State Street Project

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The city of West Lafayette has hired a new development director to oversee the business investment the city will rely on to pay back the cost of its State Street overhaul.

Erik Carlson replaces Chandler Poole, who sat on the Joint Board that drew up the State Street redesign, but who left the city earlier this year to move back to his home state of Wisconsin.

Carlson has worked in economic development in Indianapolis and before that in Lexington, Kentucky, where he covered the beat as a reporter.

City of West Lafayette

You might say this week’s Ask The Mayor is all about cameras.

They’re watching us as we drive, and we talk on this week's show about how the city of West Lafayette is trying to use them to streamline traffic.

They’re also on us when police pull us over while driving – and the cost of getting copies of that video may be going up sharply.

Also on today’s show, as construction has gotten going on the periphery of the State Street overhaul, we ask about a couple other ancillary issues.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

As he said himself, Purdue President Mitch Daniels isn’t that interested in ground-breaking ceremonies—“the business with the phony shovels and the phony dirt is so stale and so worn out”—but even so, he was on hand for the ceremonial ground-breaking for West Lafayette’s State Street Project. Perhaps the fact he got to use a 25-foot dirt loader instead of the standard-issue spade had spurred a change of heart.

Daniels was joined by West Lafayette mayor John Dennis, who manned a backhoe.

City of West Lafayette

It’s an open question how much money the city of West Lafayette will have in the coming years.

It’s going to be stretched thin to help pay Purdue back for the State Street overhaul and a major bridge tax would put many property owners at state-mandated tax caps. So does the city need to get bigger to net more money?

We put that question to West Lafayette’s John Dennis this week on Ask The Mayor.

Last month, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said on this program that the local media played some role in causing anxiety about road construction.

City of West Lafayette

Tippecanoe County wants to establish a new major bridge tax to cover the costs of replacing large bridges 20 to 50 years from now.  But, creating the tax would subtract some revenue from the city of West Lafayette.  Mayor John Dennis weighs in on the costs versus benefits of paying to maintain county bridges.

Apartments To Replace Vacant Space At Wabash Landing

Mar 28, 2016
Chris Morisse Vizza

It’s taken nearly half a decade, but the owner of West Lafayette’s Wabash Landing apartments and retail center is back on track with plans to redevelop vacant retail space.

West Lafayette Economic Development Director Chandler Poole says owner Jimmy Curtis plans to build a five-story, 115-unit apartment building where vacant storefronts line the walkway that bisects the mixed use development.

State Street Team Finds Money To Expand Project

Mar 11, 2016
The State Street Project /

Members of the team overseeing reconstruction of West Lafayette’s State Street say they’ve found several million dollars in savings that will allow them to expand the scope of the project.

The State Street Project /

With the broad strokes of West Lafayette and Purdue University’s State Street Project settled, residents Thursday night delved into the nitty-gritty details of the Plenary Roads plan for the project.

Each of the approximately one-dozen speakers at a public hearing was largely complimentary of the plan.

However, one of the few areas of disagreement was the plan’s suggestion to convert many one-way roads into two-way streets.

Purdue Fire Chief Kevin Ply, though, calls the measure a win for public safety.

Public To Have Its Say In State Street Plan

Feb 4, 2016
The State Street Project /

Now that West Lafayette has completed the bidding process on its 120-million State Street Redevelopment Project, the city, along with project partner Purdue University is ready, in the Joint Board’s words, to convert State Road 26 from “a state highway into a main street.”

An information meeting Thursday evening kicked off State Street’s next phase: educating city residents about the project and eliciting their input. More formal public hearings are to follow. 

City of West Lafayette

To live in West Lafayette these days is to follow the continuing saga of the State Street redesign.

The $120 million project looms over the future of the city – but just how in unclear.

Today on Ask The Mayor, we quiz West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis about what he’s learned of the project after being kept in the dark by confidentiality agreements.

And we’ll get his take on whether Purdue now wields more influence than the city itself.