Tippecanoe County

Nathan Gibbs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathangibbs/

Six months before the November general election, the Tippecanoe County Election Board is shopping for a new contractor to provide computer software needed to run the voting system.

The three-member board voted Friday to cancel the county’s contract with Robis Elections, based in Wheaton, Illinois.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Property owners will have an opportunity next month to comment on the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners' plan to create a new property tax to fund major bridge projects.

Board President Dave Byers says county leaders will likely set a maximum tax rate at about 1 cent per $100 assessed valuation.

County Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase would trigger state-mandated tax caps, which would in turn, reduce Lafayette’s tax revenue by about $54,000 a year and West Lafayette’s by about $34,000 annually.

Chris Morisse Vizza

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners say they want input from the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette before establishing a new bridge tax.

The commissioners on Monday had planned to schedule a meeting so taxpayers could comment on creation of a major bridge fund. It would pay for large bridges scheduled for replacement in the next 50 years.

But Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase may trigger state-mandated tax caps that would slightly decrease the amount of revenue for the cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette and Otterbein.

Chris Morisse Vizza

A new industrial park in Tippecanoe County is the first site in the state to meet stiffer development standards and earn the designation of Indiana Site Certified Gold.

That means the 164 acre site bounded on the south by Haggerty Lane and on the east by I-65 ranks high on the list of properties marketed to business and industry leaders.

KEVIN HARBER / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevharb/

A new ordinance requires all tattoo and body piercing shops in Tippecanoe County to obtain a permit.

Officials say the new rules are for the health and safety of both the artists and their customers.

Area shop owners appear to be in favor of the ordinance in theory.

But some acknowledge it could establish a financial burden that some may find difficult to shoulder.

The new ordinance lists requirements a business must meet to be able to provide tattoo and piercing services.

Dennis S Hurd / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennissylvesterhurd/

Most people associate gangs with big cities.

But a forum for youth services workers this week brought attention to the problem in Tippecanoe County.

Local authorities say while there are gangs in the area they’re nowhere near the level of, say, Waco, Texas where a fight between rival bikers resulted in nine deaths this week.

But some fear gang influence could rise to that level if the community doesn’t band together to limit it.

Ken Clare / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenclareblog/

New animal control ordinances are in place for the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated portions of Tippecanoe County.

Review of the existing ordinances was prompted by different reasons in the two municipalities, but the goal of the new policies is the same: to keep the pet population healthy and at a manageable level.

Nathan Gibbs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathangibbs/

Registered voters in Tippecanoe County will have 19 vote center sites available to cast their ballots on Election Day next month.

That’s the same number as in the May primary.

County Clerk Christa Coffey says they decided not to scale back, even though some are predicting record low turnout.

She says the easier it is for people to vote, the better.

Early voting begins tomorrow in the County.

Coffey says the only thing that would prevent a registered voter from casting their ballot is not having a photo ID.

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

In advance of budget hearings later this summer to establish a spending plan for 2015, Tippecanoe County officials are looking at the long-range economic forecast.

Financial consultant Greg Guerrettaz says while the county has kept its head above water during recent tight financial times, there could be tougher times ahead.

He expects little if any growth in revenue, but potentially large increases in expenses such as health care and fuel and electricity.

Tippecanoe County is seeing a significant decrease in the number of juveniles being arrested.

Youth Services executive director Rebecca Humphrey says 1,031 youth were arrested in 2010, compared to 883 in 2013.

That’s a 14.4% drop.

And Humphrey says 51% fewer juveniles are being held in secure detention, which saves the county money.

The data is being compiled as part of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative which the county has been a part of since 2008.

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